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Live Review: Mystery Jets, Toucan

24 September 2012 | 4:23 pm | Robert Townsend

More Mystery Jets More Mystery Jets

Behind beaming smiles, Sydney boy-girl duo, Toucan, got the evening underway. They make quite the odd couple, with giant keyboardist Shea Duncan towering over diminutive singer Jess Pollard, even though he was perched on a stool and she was bouncing around the stage. Joined for this support slot by a drummer, who added to the keys and laptop, the local act showed why they have been getting plenty of attention and praise of late. Pollard has a strong vocal and the band is at their best when belting out the more energetic of their tracks, like new single Mr Television. Judging by this showing, they will certainly find an audience within Australia's teenage indie-pop fraternity.

Perhaps because it was a Sunday, Mystery Jets arrived to a criminally nowhere-near-full venue, but Eel Pie Island's finest didn't let that bother them, as they played an 80-minute set of belters, which showed how inventive and eclectic the band's repertoire is. With a stage set-up that included pedal steel, six-string, 12-string, shakers, bass, keys and four vocalists, their sound was full and mighty beefy as they opened with the American-country rock-tinged Someone Purer, which instantly illustrated their ability to  pen an infectious tune.

Drenched in red light, frontman Blaine Harrison and guitarist William Rees switched vocals as the Brits segued between the pop rock of Seratonin and the disco of The Hale Bop. After this, Young Love prompted the first sing-along of the night, which continued with the slower Flakes. It was an epic, arms-aloft anthem which, coupled with set closer Lost In Austin, is the kind of song that could fill a stadium.

Those that were in attendance surely felt privileged to be so and demanded an encore. The five-piece duly returned to play the shimmying Flash A Hungry Smile and the brilliant pop of Two Doors Down, the latter of which saw the audience sing the first verse for the group. All in all then, a hugely entertaining performance from a band that makes wonderfully crafted pop music that manages to be equally interesting and catchy. Mystery Jets are surely one of Britain's most underrated bands.

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