Half Moon Run w/Tiger Towns - Fly By Night, Fremantle
At a venue I had never attended let alone heard of, Fly by Night Club in Fremantle was anything but disappointing. The perfect location for what the night had install for me, I was pleasantly surprised by the ample table and seating areas, funky decorum and well lit mood lighting. Colourful posters and fake ivy greens adorned the wall behind the bar creating an upbeat and vibrant atmosphere which inspired a friendly and relaxed attitude from all attendees.
The evening started with the opening act Tiger Towns playing songs from their EP released in August ‘Wandering Eyes’. They were just what the crowd needed, the majority of their tunes were very relaxed vibes, soft vocals from both female and male leads which harmonized perfectly. Utilizing a range of instruments including a xylophone and bare hand clapping the band were obviously very in tune with both musical talent and each other when performing. A couple songs did stand out probably from hearing them on Triple J as Tiger Town came in as number 47 on Triple J’s most played unearthed artists list.
If you like melodic harmonies between energetic men and women in clothes you wish you could rock, then listen to “What You Came Here For” and “Lions and Witches”. Both songs somehow enticed the crowd to get up from drinking beers in their seats and instead sway awkwardly in a way that got them excited. In summary, Tiger Town were a perfect warm up to Half Moon Run, a band I would definitely see again given the chance and definitely rising stars in the indie-pop world.
Now as for the band I went to see, there are little words I can use to describe the experience. If you were ever in want of a Half Moon Run flavoured soup there are a few ingredients you would definitely need to add. About half a cup of The Rubens, a tablespoon of Boy and Bear, a dash of Matt Corby an ounce of Kings of Leon and you would certainly have a similar sound to Half Moon Run. But then there is a certain uniqueness about them, that is nearly inexplicable but makes you want to hear more and more of their sound.
Opening with a solid vocal and base sound the crowd was instantly engaged, overlapping all sorts of instruments such as snare drums and a harmonica which were played by various members of the band. One of my favourite features of the performance was when lead Devon Portielje frequently referred back to playing some sick percussion beats on the small drum kit beside him. It was the constant changes in focus onstage that created a performance that you wouldn’t dare turn away from. It was hard to believe they were playing songs from their debut album, their stage presence seemed to be completely natural as they interacted with the crowd quoting sweet anecdotes about previous shows and jokes about illegal downloading.
Although it really was all about the music for them, some notable songs were “Call Me in the Afternoon” “Give Up” and what I predicted would be my favourite song of the night – “Full Circle”. Now I must say, previously to the show I did not know every song off by heart and I hadn’t listened to Half Moon Run intensely, but the sound I had heard I really liked, it was an amazing experience to see the songs I liked come to life on stage and become songs I now love. I have developed a major crush on Devon Portielje and the music he and his band produce. Working together on percussion sounds that meld so perfectly is pure talent and I give full kudos to them for working so hard to achieve such a great sound.
After about an hour long set it was sadly time to see Half Moon Run end. They thanked the crowd, waved, smiled and walked off, but the crowd would not have that. Cheers of “one more song, one more song” filled Fly by Night and HMR were enticed to play one more song. Anyone who had left early certainly missed out on one of the most intimate moments I have seen at a music gig. Playing an acoustic song in the front centre of the stage, HMR used just one guitar and a smaller instrument I wouldn’t know the name of, but their voices were really all they needed. The audience crowded around, staring up at the quartet lit by a bright light from the ceiling. A moment I will never forget and hopefully one that I will be able to see again, they were brilliant. At one point the bassist pulled out his harmonica to tie in the acoustic-folk theme of the song which deserved the loud and passionate cheers from the crowd.
Regardless of drunk tourists talking in front of me the whole show, I had an inexplicably amazing experience watching a band I can only describe as effortlessly enchanting, with a dirty grunge appeal. A band I will see again and a band I will recommend to all my friends and anyone reading this. Kudos to Half Moon Run.