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Live Review: We Lost The Sea, The Crooked Fiddle Band, Dear Plastic

16 January 2017 | 10:38 am | Rod Whitfield

"We think they found that sea again."

More We Lost The Sea More We Lost The Sea

How to classify a band like Dear Plastic? Lo-fi experimental dream-pop with female vocals? Something along those lines. Whatever contrived genre description you want to slap on them, they are an excellent opener for this truly eclectic three-band line-up. How does one describe their music and live presentation? Well, the rhythm section lays down a rock solid, if off-beat, groove while the two keyboardists/samplers and vocalist croon soulfully over the top, and their ethereal music holds the almost-capacity, hipster-heavy crowd spellbound. Vocalist Scarlette Baccini is an enigma, tiny in stature but huge of voice, she gives the crowd fleeting, teasing glimpses of an almost-operatic range. Much more of this, please!

And The Crooked Fiddle Band are even further left of centre, even more of a crowd-pleasing oddity that consists of a drummer who handles the very-minimal lead vocal duties and much of the connecting with the crowd, an acoustic guitarist who jumps on a bouzouki on a semi-regular basis, a bloke on a small upright bass and a rather livewire young lady on violin. The violinist carries a case on her back like an archer, although she doesn't carry arrows in the case, she carries her bows! Their mostly instrumental music gets quite wild at times, with the fiddle getting crazy and making all sorts of weird and wonderful sounds while the bassist strikes instead of strokes his instrument with his bow. Sometimes it resembles what heavy metal music would sound like if it was played by acoustic guitars, a fiddle and an upright bass. This is a band that refuses to play by any rules and are far better for it.

On top of everything, The Crooked Fiddle Band truly inject their personalities into their performance and their between-song banter, especially in the latter third of their set, is damn entertaining and piss-funny. If you see this band's name in a gig guide and they're playing near you, make sure you check them out for something very different and very, very cool.

Sydney boys We Lost The Sea embark upon their unique instrumental odyssey with a long, drawn-out — but highly compelling — ambient guitar intro, and hold the capacity crowd mesmerised for the full extent of their one-hour-and-15-minute set. This band doesn't possess the relentless, driving energy and power of a sleepmakeswaves, although we're sure they have shared the stage at some point previously, but that is hardly the point with this band. This band's music is all about the moods and the dynamics, the prolonged building of tension and suspense before the eventual cataclysmic pay-off. And the sheer volume of facial hair on stage is a joy to behold.

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Consisting of three guitars, keys, bass and drums (that cut through like a red-hot knife through liquid butter), sometimes the instrumentalists punch in tight-as-a-fist unison, while sometimes they intertwine and intercoil like so many snakes, while the music rises and falls like a schizophrenic tide. We think they found that sea again.