Live Review: Saskwatch, Cub Sport, WildHoney

4 March 2016 | 11:15 am | Xavier Rubetzki Noonan

"In reverence, the band placed all their mics in front of the kit to give the finale even more impact."

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Sydney quartet Wild Honey begin the night with a toe-tapping set of power-pop tunes. Single Eye To Eye delivered the goods, with a light psych influence showing in its open chords and wistful solos. Another slower number featured some impressive slide-guitar with natural imprecision nicely cutting through the treacle. It was hard to get a read on the personality of the band, but they proved themselves a competent opening act.

Beloved Brisbane four-piece Cub Sport have nothing but chemistry — they're a unit who know their strengths, evident as they burst out of the gate with the rich melody and powerful falsetto of Stay. The hooks kept coming, as the band showed off tracks from their impressive new drop This Is Our Vice, all boasting clever instrumentation and catchy vocal lines. A cover of Talking Heads' This Must Be The Place was a surprise highlight, updating the groove to a more contemporary synth-pop feel with a gorgeous three-part harmony scattered throughout. Parting with irresistible 2012 single Evie, the band had the whole room dancing.

Saskwatch began as a group of buskers in Melbourne, and after years of reinvention they still have that magic knack of instantly capturing your attention. Beginning with the powerful I'll Be Fine, searing guitars, well placed keys and tight drums fought for the spotlight, somehow finding a perfect balance amongst the chaos. Atop it all is Nkechi Anele, the band's compelling frontwoman, who is every bit as capable providing dark, moody vocals to songs like the bittersweet Spitting Image as she is leading the upbeat retro groove of Give Me A Reason.

A Love Divine was another high point (in a night full of them), not just for its wonderful fuzzy guitars but also Anele's particularly pointed and venomous performance. The set peaked with the crowd uncontrollably clapping along with Hands which was capped off by an incredible drum solo. In reverence, the band placed all their mics in front of the kit to give the finale even more impact.

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