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Live Review: Mystery Jets, Voltaire Twins

27 September 2012 | 6:00 am | Michael Caves

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Opening tonight's show were local synth-pop darlings the Voltaire Twins, who over several years now have carved out a niche of their own with their unique and lively electro sound.  The stage was crammed full of synthesisers, percussion drums, electronic devices and no sign of any laptops, as the pure skill of this well-rehearsed act is the ability to perform tightly sequenced music entirely live. Opening their set with Silhouettes taken from the recent EP Apollo, the lazy swinging synth pads swelled throughout the brightly lit venue in a spacey, dreamy fashion. The blending of live drumming tribal beats, with the harmonies of twins Jaymes and Tegan Voltaire contributed to the edgy pop textures and a sense of melancholy that is their main appeal. The catchy melodies continued with more Apollo tracks: Jump Cuts and Young Adult. Ending this entertaining set with Animalia the audience were in full dance swing enjoying the driving rhythms and arpeggiated synth rolling over cow bell beats that are all part of the Voltaire Twins' cleverly crafted sound.

Bluesy riffs of slide guitar set the mode and when an American-styled Mystery Jets entered the stage the sheer excitement of the audience could be felt all around. With front man Blaine Harrison – in fabulous tasselled leather no less – and the rest of the five piece band all in Nashville-appropriate attire, it became obvious the Jets have moved away from their once neo-psychedelic indie style to something else. Opening the set with Someone Purer from their most recent album Radlands, the fans were immediately singing full throttle to the catchy pseudo country vibe. Moving straight into early hit single Serotonin, one of only a handful of older tracks to feature tonight, a positive energy could be felt in the air. While not all of the fans may appreciate the new style, there was no denying that these talented British musicians know how to perform a tightly orchestrated and faultless performance, with captivating appeal. Four-part vocal harmonies in the track Saviour were wholesome, while the twelve-string guitar lick in Dreaming Of Another World sent shivers around the venue. The audience passionately sang along full of gusto at every opportunity to the big sounds of unison guitar and oozing organ riffs, but it was the band's overall passion and liveliness that won in the end.