Live Review: The Trouble With Templeton, Dirt Farmer & Bexley De Lion

17 December 2012 | 2:47 pm | Jessie Hunt

The Trouble With Templeton have developed a truly dynamic sound.

This Friday night found Brisbane act The Trouble With Templeton in Wollongong playing to an extremely intimate (read: miniscule) audience. This intimacy served to highlight everything that is right with TTWT: their new, expansive sounds; their gentlemanly (and gentlewomanly) manners, and their poignant, poetic lyricism. Taking place at one of Wollongong's newest venues, the event also served to demonstrate the remarkable acoustic qualities and communal vibe of Barcode.

Wollongong's own Bexley de Lion opened the show. The band is a remarkable up-and-coming indie folk act; they travel seamlessly between ornately furnished, delicate soundscapes and raucous, percussion-heavy tracks. Their neat banjo pickings give tracks a kind of down-homey authenticity, and their warm, milk-and-honey vocals are gorgeous. The band's lyricism has a kind of understated, old-world charm; it would be interesting to see those vocals brought forward. With rich, earthy roots stylings and a polite, self-effacing stage manner, this band will be worth keeping an eye on.

Dirt Farmer followed up with their own brand of wild, boisterous, '60s-tinged rock/pop. The band have a cool vintage aesthetic, and their sounds and lyrical content work together to create a timeless, quaint pop feel – this is particularly evident on their track, Kick It. However, the band's stage banter verged on arrogant, with disparaging comments dropped about the event's turnout and with the frontman unable to remember the name of the act that preceded them (despite the running order being pinned up on the wall beside him). This kind of talk is not particularly endearing, and kind of disappointing in a band with a neat sound.

The Trouble With Templeton took to the stage all smiles and liveliness, despite the lateness of the hour. It seems as though this band's sound has developed consistently over the past few months. Since Sydney performances earlier this year, the group have become more dynamic, more powerful, with increased attention to the power of the band's complex soundscapes, and slightly less focus on lyricism and vocals. The band have an incredible capacity for using silence; taking sudden, deep rests during huge percussion sections, these silences building tension to dizzying heights. From the elegant keys to the delicate acoustic guitar work to the heavy, thudding drums, The Trouble With Templeton have developed a truly dynamic sound.

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