BIRD WEDNESDAYS: DAMIAN CROSBIE, JOYS, SHIT NARNIA, JACOB DIAMOND
Lead vocalist of The Panda Band, Damian Crosbie opened the very first evening of FEELS with a mellow embrace. He cast a gentle spell across the room, owning his place on the stage where he seems to be very much at home. A crisp drum track accompanied his warm electric guitar work and his simply beautiful vocals. He didn’t really interact with the audience, not even the cheers from a baby Pterodactyl in the crowd seemed to phase him. Jacob Diamond joined him on stage to play bass for a few final songs which was a really welcome change, because although his choice to play solo is admirable, well-executed and completely intentional, I personally feel these songs really deserve a band as there’s such strong foundations and potential for the addition of a myriad of luscious layers.
I caught JOYS first gig in September at the backyard event Trash Mountain. I thought they were pretty cool then and I think they’re even cooler now. The sound quality at The Bird added such depth to their sound, really bringing it to life. Frontwoman Rleanne (Guitar/Vocals) was a little nervous but she won everybody over with her raw honesty- a pure example of what it means to be endearing. Lindsay (Bass/Vocals) has a contagious energy about him, performing with such passion, his devotion to every single note and word blatant for all to see. Chris (Guitar/Vocals) executed some super catchy riffs and provided solid support for Rleanne, the two complimenting one another’s guitar work throughout the set. I was really impressed when he sang lead a little later in the set, his vocals are clear and rather sweet, a perfect contrast to Rleanne’s gracious yet defiant style and Lindsay’s gutsy belting. Ben (Drums) remained pretty unassuming, his dynamic ability adjusting effortlessly to suit the versatility of the JOYS sound. I can’t choose what my favourite thing about this band is – whether it’s the obvious love they share for one another, their sincere and heart-warming teamwork, or the fact that lead vocals is shared by almost every band member.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love Shit Narnia. I honestly haven’t seen their quality of performance ever fluctuate from a consistent standard of pretty bloody good. I guess the only thing I could say differently from what I said in my previous Wednesday review of these guys is that I really loved Hugh’s (Vocals) outfit. I’m going to call it Fit-Punk; a mesh singlet with sports shorts and sneakers. Oh yeah, and I’m gonna add that Albi (Drums) bloody killed it.
Ah, the rare bird re-emerges into the night. It’s such a pleasure to see Jacob Diamond play and something that really shouldn’t be missed, for seeing and hearing this band is an absolute health retreat for your body and soul. With just four members, the sound that emanates from this band is so unbelievably rich, captivating the audience and locking their unwavering attention for the entirety of the set. I noticed a first timer completely gobsmacked – the standard reaction we can expect from someone’s debut experience of this act. You kind of can’t believe the vocals on Jacob – it seems so effortless, a clear channel from the heavens down into his body and out through his mouth as some kind of silky scripture. If he were a super villain, then we’d all be his faithful servants setting fire to the world – but the total opposite is what comes of the effect he has on listeners. Bare foot Jake (Lead Guitar) warmed the room with comforting slide on the lap steel, instantly transporting us to some dream land. Ethan (Drums) plays with such ease and finesse, playing with such elegance, creating space for the fluid bass lines provided by Will who was sporting some pretty bangin’ pants. I need to mention Albi, again. Watching him watch Jacob from the audience is like watching Fabio riding a stallion along the crystal clear shores of some isolated coastline. He demonstrates the awe we all feel. I’d like to send a shout-out to local ne-soul pop star Alex Dew aka Alwyn Lewis who made an appearance, providing some quality snaps of Will.