Friday, June 28, 2013
Synth-pop duo Gypsy & The Cat wrapped up the last show in the Australian leg of their Its a Fine Line tour at the Bakery last Friday night. The latest in a line of Australian psychedelia to find a receptive market in the USA (Tame Impala being the obvious other), Perth marked a stopping point for the boys before they embark on shows in both Los Angeles and New York.
Gypsy & The Cat’s Friday night show was a combination of the older, synth-heavy tracks from their first album, coupled with a number of tracks from their second album, The Late Blue, released last year. Whilst the crowd lapped up G&TC’s older hits from their very popular 2010 release Gilgamesh, the real winners of the evening were the new tracks, which represented an interesting and more mature direction for the duo, pushing the boundaries of the three-minute pop songs of their past to come up with something new and innovative.
Highlights included the fabulous and laid-back Soul Kiss, which dripped with ‘60s influenced vocals, organ and an über-cruisy bass line that I could have drifted away into technicoloured space on. Also impressive was Sorry, which took a refreshing minor spin on the four-chord song, and which had some unusual little musical interludes with a distinctly retro vibe. However the winning song of the evening was the title track of the tour. It’s a Fine Line mixed the band’s trademark psychedelia with some bizarre edgier influences reminiscent at times of bands like The Pixies and The Cure, giving the whole song a wholly unique and interesting sound entirely different to anything else they produced.
As a live act, G&TC have chops and have come a long way in honing an impressive show. What is difficult with this style of music however is that the mix is a large part of the performance and it’s difficult to get right. Friday night’s performance was tight, however some of the really well-hit vocal harmonies were overpowered by the otherwise spot on synth and bass. In particular songs like Piper’s Song, one of G&TC’s most well-known and loved songs, lacked some of the impact it might otherwise have had with it’s infectious harmony and well-crafted vocal lines, as the synth was so overbearing at times that they couldn’t really be heard.
This said G&TC have spent the last few years touring extensively and it has paid off. From a band that had some noticeable tuning issues at the 2011 Big Day Out they’ve worked consistently, put in the hard yards practicing and touring, and have emerged as a slick and well polished act. Watching the crowd react to their final song, Jonah Vark, it was evident that this is a band that knows how to write catchy three-minute songs whilst maintaining a level of musical integrity. Their new material is interesting and innovative, it explores new territory for the band whilst still remaining true to their psychedelic-pop roots. Expect big things from these lads in the future.