with All Fires The Fire

There were a few little things that left me confused after the Whitley gig at North Hobart's Republic Bar. I needed answers to the following questions …


1) Is Whitley the dude, or the band?


2) Why didn't more people take the chance to check out local support All Fires The Fire?


Thanks to the powers of my hangover in combination with the thirst for this knowledge, I managed to figure out the answer to my first question by late on Sunday afternoon.


In all honesty, it shouldn't have taken me so long to jump on Myspace and get the good oil, but it did…


Whitley (a.k.a. Lawrence Greenwood) is solo, with a great band alongside. His powerful alt-pop has earned him a legion of fans since the release of debut album, Submarine, in 2007. The follow up, Go Forth Find Mammoth, has turned plenty of heads since its October release and has no-doubt bought the young Melbournian plenty of new fans.


Said fans were out in force for the gig, but either rocked in relatively late or bided their time in the beer/cigarette garden while Hobart's All Fires The Fire opened the night.


See question two above for my next quandary.


The Amplified award-winning four-piece strung together a quality set, heavy with new tunes. The relative few who witnessed it from the comfort of a less than crowded front bar enjoyed it. More pity for those that missed out.


Swathed in red light on the little stage and seemingly increasing in volume as the set progressed, there was a moodiness to the music, not least in Carl Higgs' dark synth tones and the deep, deep voice of lead vocalist, Adam Ouston. Think Interpol or Editors – that's where I kept getting back to as I tried to put my finger on a suitable comparison.


Whitley was up with little delay. The set commenced with a handful of musicians on stage, each in control of one of a range of instruments. Guitars, drums, synths, laptops (do they count as an instrument?), extra percussion pieces.


With the band well versed given the Hobart gig was the last on the current national tour, the set sounded big, ran smoothly and drew one-and-all close to the stage for the best possible view.


Whitley also took a quieter solo turn under the spotlight, the stage clearing to leave the little man space to play a couple of tracks. Girls swooned. Guys glowed green with envy. And Whitley took time to chide a few folks towards the back of the room who were chatting a little too loudly for his liking.


The set carried songs from both Submarine and Go Forth Find Mammoth. Head First Down and Bright White Lights went down well among the faithful. Scratch that. The whole set went down well.

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