Live Review: Violent Femmes, Xylouris White

8 March 2016 | 11:58 am | Liz Giuffre

"Plastic champagne holders and homemade cheeseboards were pushed aside as the crowd danced."

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In the warm evening sun duo Xylouris White took the stage and played the animals to sleep. The combination of Cretan lute and drums was gorgeous, drawing in and out as if the players — George Xylouris and Jim White — were sitting on the waves and being carried by them.

After a short break Violent Femmes took the stage, wasting no time by leading with Blister In The Sun. That's how much good stuff they have — they can start with that. Plastic champagne holders and homemade cheeseboards were pushed aside as the crowd danced, and the Femmes kept a mostly upbeat vibe across the next hour-and-a-half. The roll-call included Kiss Off, Gimme The Car, Country Death Song, Black Girls and of course Gone Daddy Gone, while the lovely B-side Color Me Once — from The Crow soundtrack — was an unexpected and wonderful addition. The band "presented some of our own southern American traditional music, bluegrass", with a ripping version of Jesus Walking On The Water (no doubt a tongue-in-cheek antidote to some of their fruiter tunes). Proudly plugging their new album released the same day, We Can Do Anything, the Femmes also gave a few new tunes a spin (with the album's title track being given a special dedication to Taronga's elephants, sleeping nearby). Although maybe a touch slower and sillier in tone, the new songs are certainly solid additions to an already extremely impressive catalogue. For the encore the crowd sang out their own versions of Add It Up until the band obliged, with opening lines "Daayy.... afffter daaayyy" ringing out across the venue and out over the water. Quickly followed by another newbie, they ended with American Music.