Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram

Live Review: Touché Amoré, Make Do & Mend

5 November 2012 | 11:15 am | Brad Barrett

Make Do & Mend are clearly a hard-working rock band that appreciates every chance they've made for themselves. Essentially, their musical blend reminds the initiated of Hot Water Music, not just in sound and stature, but also in commitment and effort. This is high praise for anyone and Make Do & Mend ploughed convincingly through material from their two albums. Entertaining a full room, they were appreciative of the crowd's response even though they earned the praise and reaction. That's humility – and it was refreshing to see and hear.

There aren't many situations where you willingly exhaust your air supply just to spit words into a cacophony, to feel like you're sharing something important. The soreness of our singalong didn't register until after all energy was expended, but the throat coped and sculpted the words with ragged textures that landed with the weight of a small galactic rock. Touché Amoré inspired such chest-convulsing efforts from the crowd through incredible shards of potent melody, from the heart-wrenching Home Away From Here, to the runaway train of Whale Belly. Flashing through songs under two minutes, each melody caused a visible ripple across the surface of the crowd, as if it was a cell under a microscope, breaking apart and spilling out over itself. As it was, it was a pit of camaraderie, bonded by the words that are expressing experiences we all can relate to. Which is why we were here.

There was more to it than the primal surge of guitars and drums though. There was definitely more than the vicious expulsion of raw, twitching words too. But they were inseparably fused; when we lashed our own larynges with the seared texture that matched the passion and ire of vocalist Jeremy Bolm, it became a synergy of audience and artist. There was little time for rest. Sharp bursts of hardcore savagery collided with each other, though each one was precision and fury and never smeared into a formless mess. There's far too much direction and clarity in what Touché Amoré do for that to happen. By the time we're all screaming the a cappella refrain from the end of Honest Sleep after 45 minutes, we're spent. Bolm finally joined the crowd in a physical tribute to what we'd shared.

It all sounds a little dramatic, but if you've never felt this way about music, you've missed a lot of the point. It's celebratory, it's sharing life, it's sharing physicality and it's sharing weary, satisfied smiles. If that doesn't appeal, then you'll never really understand and we all feel sorry for you.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter