Live Review: The ReChords - The Gem

2 July 2012 | 6:20 pm | Dominique Wall

It’s clear that Francis, Potier and Shaw feed off one another and tonight they seem to be particularly on fire.

Comprised of Leo Francis, Felix Potier and Tyron Shaw, The ReChords are Melbourne's most talented, best dressed and best coiffed exponents of American roots music. Usually found at The Gem on Sunday nights for their “Saddle Up Sunday” summer sessions, what has now become tradition has been broken for this one-off Friday night gig and, oh boy, are the punters packed in to be part of the celebrations. The Gem is cozy at the best of times, but tonight it's packed to the brim.

Keeping to their usual style of breaking the gig into two sets, set one starts with Downtown Boogie and the boys are in fine form tonight. While they've made a name for themselves by being both the masters of harmony and pretty damn tight with their playing, tonight shows how much tighter their playing has become. Given how extensively they've played over the past couple of years (including a whirlwind European tour mid-2011), this is really no surprise. What is a surprise, though, is how much life the band still puts into songs that they've been playing since their first gig. Potier, in particular, is like a man possessed, going wilder and more off-tangent in his guitar solos than noticed before, yet, in his inimitable fashion, he's always able to bring it seamlessly back to the where he left off.

One of the many things that makes a ReChords show so enjoyable is their between-song banter. It's clear that Francis, Potier and Shaw feed off one another and tonight they seem to be particularly on fire. The enthusiastic crowd, meanwhile, just laps it up. The only questionable moment comes when a couple decide to take to the miniscule space that's left between the band and the crowd to show off their rock'n'roll dance moves. The consistency of the tunes and the momentum does not die, even during the quieter moments, yet within such a solid couple of sets The Bug still stands out above all the other tracks.

With another successful night (and a Friday one at that) at The Gem under their belts, The ReChords prove, once again, why they're worthy of all the praise they've garnered over the past year or so. It's their hard work, songwriting skills, wise cover choices, musical talent plus the fact that they clearly enjoy what they're doing that makes their shows a constant must-see.

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