Live Review: Villain, The Encounters, Buzz Aldrin & The Second Best, Boytjie

24 November 2015 | 1:17 pm | Scott Aitken

"Rowan Florence and Christiaan Mckenzie traded fiery bluesy guitar solos through Foxhunt."

There was a strong turnout early on at Rosemount Hotel, with punters there to see a great local line-up headed up by the massively talented indie rock quartet Villain. Armed only with an electric guitar and his unique voice, Boytjie entertained the crowd with his impressive set of originals along with a subdued cover of Champagne Supernova that the young artist dedicated to the people killed in the Paris terror attacks the previous week.

It was a quick change over after to the next live band of the night, with trio Buzz Aldrin & The Second Best cranking out some great punk rock tunes about drugs, western suburbs mums and more while joking in between songs with each other. Although a little strapped for time, the band sounded great tearing through original tunes with drummer Dan Harper and bassist Ben Power holding down a solid rhythm while singer and guitarist Jack Hoffmann punched out some hard-edged riffs and solos.

After that it was time for the pop rock sounds of The Encounters, with drummer Oly Gordon firing off samples and synth sounds on his laptop to provide the songs with an arena rock feel that made the band sound gigantic onstage. Guitarists Lewin Riddell and Callum Robertson managed to blend some funky guitar parts together that got people dancing and the band got a great response in the end from the crowd.

Finally it was time for headliners Villain to make their way on stage, dressed in their trademark suits and formal wear and armed with some loud amplifiers and a collection of hard-rocking originals that began with Left Behind off their The Other Side EP from last year. Rowan Florence and Christiaan Mckenzie traded fiery bluesy guitar solos through Fox Hunt before tackling a cover of The Black Keys' Tighten Up that saw Florence and drummer Alexander Popoff-Asotoff handle different parts of the verse. Greta Andrews-Taylor held the melody down with some smooth bass playing, especially when the band decided to give folks a preview of their new single Brand New Day before their single launch for it the week after.

The band finished strong with Pointed Guns, with Popoff-Asotoff doing an extended drum solo while the rest of the band thrashed through the rocking melody and the song came to a crashing end that drew one last great response from the crowd before the night was all over.