Cassette Kids @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney June 18, 2010 – with Howl and Kids of 88 [Live Review]

Review: Ben Hosking

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Cassette Kids

[Photo: Ben Hosking]
  It’s 8pm on a Friday night in busy inner-city Darlinghurst. Yet here we are, presented with an awesome parking space right next to the Oxford Art Factory (OAF) where Sydney darlings Cassette Kids are due to take to the stage in just a couple of hours. Supported by New Zealand’s Kids of 88 and Victoria’s Howl; it was to be an interesting night of music, full of pop, and at times dance-infused rock.

First up was NZ’s Kids of 88 who tonight were boasting a full band line-up including a live drummer and guitarist. This more organic delivery of well known electro tunes such as ‘Ribbons of Light’ and ‘Just a Little Bit’ had the rapidly growing crowd moving. The group provided a lively and entertaining performance that will no doubt win them some new fans this side of the Pacific.

While Howl may not be the most original band name performing on the night, they did provide one of the more unique viewing and listening experiences. The six-piece filled the tiny OAF stage, all dressed in black and sporting typically bad youthful haircuts. Despite the do’s, the lads from Ballarat put on a great performance that included plenty of instrument switcher-oos with Michael Belsar and Lachlan Morrish sharing both guitar and vocal duties throughout the set.

Interestingly, Tim Street doubled his role as guitarist with intermittent stints on bass, making Howl a twin bass player band at different points. Both he and full-time bassist Johnathan Crawford provided glimpses of potential metal influences in their energetic live presence; often head banging their way through the set. The pair even entertained themselves with a couple of excursions into the now-full dance floor to mingle with the crowd mid-song.

After a short wait with the heavy black curtains drawn across the stage, the capacity OAF erupted as Sydney’s Cassette Kids took to the stage. Formed in 2007, the four-piece have made a rapid ascent, getting wide-spread publicity through such successes as an Big Day Out Unearthed win, Triple J Unearthed nomination and plenty of airplay on said station. Tonight, they returned to their hometown and headlined the show with a confidence and swagger beyond their years.

Touring on the back of their debut album ‘Nothing on TV’, Cassette Kids pumped out plenty of material from their first long play. Apparently it’s been a popular release, with the audience singing along to most of the songs as pretty blonde frontwoman Katrina Noorbergen worked the crowd into a dancing frenzy.

It was refreshing to see a pop-infused group like Cassette Kids displaying such an enthusiastic, energetic and believable stage presence. All four band members played with an obvious passion, no doubt fuelled by their crowd’s enthusiasm for what they were seeing and hearing – a reciprocating and perfect symbiosis. Bass player Daniel Deitz danced and bopped his way through the set, at times manning the keys with the Fender P-bass slung around his neck. Guitarist Daniel Schober tap danced across his impressively-sized pedal board, creating plenty of ethereal sounds over the top of Jacob Read-Harber’s tight drum work – an impressive effort despite early technical issues with the computer-driven samples.

If the ‘Kids can keep up the momentum and the quality of performance, they’re sure to continue to get noticed. Maybe next time we’ll see them fill the Metro or Enmore?

Cassette Kids @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney June 18, 2010 – with Howl and Kids of 88 [Photo Gallery]

CASSETTE KIDS “Nothing On TV” Tour – June 2010 [tour details and tickets
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Cassette KidsBuy: Cassette Kids available at iTunes

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