Sweet Oblivion #9 - Nine Times as Sweet
On Friday December 4, YMCA HQ in Leederville hosted the 9th Sweet Oblivion Showcase. This time around, Matthew Gudgeon, Puzzle, Last Lions and Red Moon graced the stage, and Daniel Morey once again had the privilege of seeing it unfold.
First on the bill was Matthew Gudgeon, and what a way to start the night! Matthew has all the makings of a successful solo act; he possesses a stunning voice, more than serviceable guitar abilities, evocative lyrics and a captivating stage presence. Both his originals and covers were charming. His cover of Childish Gambino’s “Sober” using loop pedals was particularly creative and indicative of his capabilities. Certainly an act to look out for.
Puzzle was next to take stage. One criticism is that their covers (of “The View From the Afternoon” by Arctic Monkeys and “Someday” by The Strokes), though enjoyable, were a bit derivative, as if they were trying too much to be like the originals (a trap many younger acts can fall into). However, their original material showed plenty of promise- their soft/loud dynamics and the lyrics that were discernable from the mix was reminiscent of 90s punk/emo acts such as Sunny Day Real Estate, only with Alex Turner as a frontman. Each member excelled at their chosen instrument, which suggests bright things for this young band.
Following were Last Lions, who clearly had a lot of fun on stage. By far the most talkative of the bands, they did everything they could to persuade the audience to loosen up and have fun. And the audience did; there was moshing and crowd surfing. The band made up for lost members by playing loud and fast, and in between engaged the audience with some self-depreciating humour and scarily accurate Eddie Vedder impersonations. Last Lions were simply a fun band to see live, and you can’t ask for much more. Also, they liked my Smith Street Band shirt and sang about wanting to be in Violent Soho (“Siolent Hobo”), so bonus points to them.
Finally, Red Moon took stage. The fact there were 6 members on stage (including two on keys) instantly told me “maximalism”, and that hunch proved correct. Every chorus proved explosive, whether from an original or cover, and it was difficult to not feel the power protruding from the band. Everyone in the room felt it, and responded with a call for an encore (the band obliged by performing their song “Lost” again).
All in all, it was another fun night filled with raw talent and good vibes. Sweet Oblivion has never failed to deliver the goods, and that doesn’t look like stopping any time soon.