Miami Horror @ Villa, Perth (07/07/2011)
Thu 21st Jul, 2011 Event Reviews 122 viewsin
Villa Nightclub is fast becoming one of my favourite venues for live shows. Only opening its doors for big name acts, this would be the first time I have seen an actual band play at Villa. The place was nearly half-full by the time we arrived, and was packed out by the time headliners Miami Horror took to the stage.
Coming into the night I was expecting Ballarat locals Gold Fields to be in support, but for whatever reason the opening act was Perth’s very own Carl Fox. Having released his debut album Chunky Rainbow last year, Carl Fox has been playing with his five-piece live incarnation on a variety of summer festival line-ups, including St Jerome’s Laneway, One Movement and Northbridge festivals.
The power of his melancholic brand of indie-pop was somewhat dampened by inaudible vocals during the set. Lyrics became fairly incoherent and even when he addressed the audience without the aid of the band I couldn’t make out what he was saying. Despite this, Carl Fox is a highly entertaining live act, with instrumentals that built over longer periods of time before coming crashing down around our heads. These breakdowns were largely driven by the drummer and forcefully reminded me of Explosions in the Sky (of whom I’m a pretty big fan).
They also pulled off a fantastic medley covering Adrian Lux’s Teenage Crime and Stardust’s Music Sounds Better With You. For those of you heading along to Parklife this year Carl Fox is due to appear on the Perth leg of the festival and I would highly recommend you make the effort to see him for yourselves.
Miami Horror began their set with Soft Light, before following it up in quick succession with a treat for older fans in the form of Don’t Be On With Her and another from their LP Ultraviolet. The crowd seemed to love the way in which the four-piece smashed out the first three songs before slowing it down a little with Moon Theory.
By this point it had become clear the group had almost completely done away with the disco elements of the album in favour of a raw live show. While I was expecting more of a synth-driven performance this in no way detracted from the overall experience, but rather gave it a greater edge over other live acts that choose to stick to a pre-recorded script.
Lead singer Ben Plant is also not afraid to make fun of himself, having a good giggle after cracking a high in the opening song and joking about the weird way he was talking between songs. While Plant doesn’t appear to take himself too seriously, Miami Horror’s live performance should have convinced everyone in attendance to do so.
The rest of their set comprised of songs taken of their LP including Echoplex, Summersun and the single Sometimes, before closing out with the crowd-pleaser Holidays. These were punctuated with behind the head guitar solos and some major cowbell action.
The group hadn’t left the stage for more than a hot minute before the chants for an encore began, and Miami Horror, being the amicable performers they are, happily obliged, with Plant exclaiming that it was a “genuine encore”. This really sealed the night, with the group leaving everything out on stage and leaving the crowd still wanting more.
If you’re now hoping to see Miami Horror play, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed as the group is set to head to the US after finishing this tour. Unless of course you want to strap on that jet-pack?