Perth electronic dance trio Crooked Colours graced the stage of UOW over the long weekend, supported by Perth-grown duo Kayex and Sydney-based all-rounder Nyxen on their national Langata tour.
Made up of Philip Slabber, Leon De Baughn and Liam Merrett-Park, Crooked Colours have created a unique sound, blending folk-like acoustic guitars with new age electronic drums and synthesisers. Their sophomore album filled our ears throughout May as triple j’s feature album, in the lead up to an epic string of shows around the country.
In a pre-show accomplishment, ticket sales left the Unibar over capacity and due to popular demand, the venue was upgraded to the University hall – a space about three times the size. A good move for artists and patrons alike, and it wasn’t long before the dance floor was packed with keen onlookers.
Opening the show, Kayex’s smooth, funky sound created the perfect vibe for what was to come. While their sound is unique in its own right, there is a comfortable familiarity between Kayex and Crooked Colours, lightly sprinkled with the disco-inspired instrumentals of Daft Punk.
Next up, Nyxen earned her stripes as a multi-talented solo artist. Between her synthy beats and smooth vocals, she provided renditions of Australian noughties anthems ‘Sweet Disposition’ and ‘Walking on a Dream’ and an unexpected reinvention of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’.
Nyxen’s best tracks, however, were ‘Chains’ and ‘In the City.’ Maybe it’s because they are the most familiar, having received a fair bit of airtime on triple j as of late. But both tracks showed of her diverse musical ability: she danced, sang, played bass, synth, and I think there may have been some electronic drumming in the mix. In a similar style of Touch Sensitive, fusing the sound of a traditional instrument-like bass guitar with electronics, Nyxen truly is a one woman show, leading the new wave of electro dance pop.
The awe didn’t end there. Crooked Colours treated the crowd to brand new tracks from Langata as well as old favourites from their debut Vera. They opened with a throwback to ‘Come Back to You’ with Slabber’s smooth voice and the slow build of electronic percussion and acoustics creating the perfect entrance.
It wasn’t long until they dove right into ‘Hold On’, the premiere single from the new record. It’s evident that no matter the song, Crooked Colours have a true knack of gradually building their songs up over time and striking the perfect balance between completely chilled out and losing your mind to the beat.
The guys picked up the pace with ‘Plymouth’ and ‘Heart Strings’. The soft but driving guitar riffs definitely ring true to their claim that Langata embraces their acoustic roots.
Within the first pluck of the opening guitar riff, the crowd lost it for the Ivan Ooze collab ‘I Hope You Get It’. It seemed to be the favourite of the night, based on the enthusiastic singing (or screaming) along to the words by the crowd. I couldn’t see much past the sea of girls (and some guys) on shoulders, but I could really feel the passion in the dance floor. Let’s just say, when the chorus hit, the structural integrity of the hall was well and truly tested by the weight of hundreds of people jumping in unison.
The guys closed up on ‘Do it Like You’, before returning to the stage for a double encore including ‘I’ll Be There’.
Wollongong was the second last show of the national tour, before finishing up on Sunday in Newcastle, but I’m sure these guys won’t be disappearing any time soon. In the meantime, they’re jetting over to the US and Canada for the next few months. So if you find yourself up North between June and October, make sure to check in.
Feature Image source: Pilerats