Hermitude @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney (16/03/2012)
Tue 20th Mar, 2012 Event Reviewsin
Local chaps Elgusto and Luke Dubs, AKA Hermitude, have been making music together in one form or another for close to two decades. After such a long partnership, it now seems as if their love and dedication to making tunes is finally paying off. A sell-out, mega-enthused crowd raised the roof of Oxford Art Factory on Friday night for the outfit: It was raucous. It was sweaty. It was the definition of fun.
The night began with support from a bunch of talented locals. DJ Joyride was behind the decks, easing everyone into their Friday night with old-school hip-hop and party breaks. Roleo got down with some big bad bass and glitchiness.
Darwin darlings Sietta set the tone for the rest of the night, with James Mangohig thumping out sampled beats and Caiti Baker showing off unreal vocals and some amazing dance moves. It was a sweaty business, but her style and more importantly her coordination was astounding. They played off their record The Seventh Passenger with highlights being What Am I Supposed to Do, No Longer Hurt and a re-edit of Marcy Playground’s 1997 hit Sex and Candy. An absolute gem of a cover, all huge beats, dark and sultry vocals and massive love from the nineties kids amongst it.
The stage curtain came down and the anticipation reached palpable heights. Punters were keen enough to sneak a peek at the goings on. When the boys finally, after a long 15 mins wait, joined the festivities they arrived in style. Coming out with iPads/samplers slung on gold chains around their necks and beats coming out loud and clear, Hermitude had definitely arrived.
Their live set up is one to admire and gawp at for hours. As well as keys, and decks, and samplers, and laptops and bucket loads of cables, they also flush out their gigs with cameras rigged for an AV display. So the audience is treated to wicked morphing nature-doco video, as well as glimpses of deft and musical hands working magic.
First off the mark, they improvised their way into All of You, the catchy “Baby baby” sample being cut in perfectly and being mirrored perfectly by the shouting crowd. Hermitude demonstrated they have no problem creating studio quality sounds in a live environment, sketching beats and jamming out killer tunes that sound even better when you see what goes in to making them.
Spotted in the vicinity earlier in the evening, it wasn’t too much of a surprise to see Urthboy and Jane Tyrrell make an appearance. And boy, was it a treat. Guesting on Your Call the dynamics of the Elefant collective were in full swing. These guys just look like good mates having an even better time on stage. The fun just overflows into the audience. Looking around, everyone on stage and off had massive smiles plastered across their sweaty faces.
A little after hyping the crowd to breaking point, Luke Dubs announced things were going down-tempo. Far from losing the crowd’s attention as sometimes going down-tempo can do, everyone was happy to knock it back a notch and reflected on Frayed from 2008’s Threads The melancholy piano line reverberated just enough around the stone walls of OAF. The lyrics kicked in and there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this gig was shaping up to become a classic night.
It wasn’t long before the bmp was bumped back up and the melodies became more major. Dubs and Elgusto whizzed through a very tropical HyperParadise, a devilishly bouncy The Villain and minds were practically blown when Get In My Life came over the system. The amazing melodic journey was embraced with a bit of mosh action. The inventiveness of their musicality, it was plain to see, stacks up. Such simple elements laid down sparingly go in to create an amazingly detailed and balanced track.
The night was over before it began, but we were fortunate to get an encore “for all the weed smokers out there”. So with the last notes ringing out over their hometown show, Hermitude told us to meet them at the merch tent. These boys are not just effing great at what they do, but they’re down to earth and likeable. Hopefully, selfishly, they don’t get so huge they stop playing fantastic intimate venues. Hermitude sure does make for a classic night.