Kingswood @ The Rosemount Hotel
w/ MANE, Teen Angst
Saturday, August 18, 2018
On a cool winter night, the Rosemount Hotel hosted Melbourne rock royalty Kingswood. Before doors, a large queue of punters snaked all the way out into the Rosie’s famous beer garden- signalling what was to be a sell out crowd.
Opening the proceedings was Perth band Teen Angst. The four piece, led by frontwoman Michelle Yeong, looked like they walked straight out of the 90s in Doc Martins and baggy jeans. Teen Angst’s opening track was reminiscent of The Smiths, and lyrically each track did take you back to your own uncomfortable adolescence; “Am I cool or am I just really lame?” Yeong remarked on one track, and later launched into Dumb Chills, a song she says was written about 90’s TV show Dawson’s Creek. Teen Angst’s sound reminded me of a young Sonic Youth.
Next up was Adelaide performer MANE, a recent Triple J Unearthed winner. With her long, thick hair, MANE immediately gave off a Lorde vibe – and she had the vocal range to back it up. With the room almost full, MANE along with her guitarist and drummer, amped up the crowd with songs of love, loss & toxic relationships. Tracks including What if the Love Dies?, Chasing Butterflies and Change For Love were well received by the crowd and particularly the dedicated fanbase close to the stage. MANE displayed her indie pop strengths, and the back end of the set was reminiscent of Meg Mac and Florence and the Machine.
With a capacity crowd patiently waiting, Kingswood were welcomed to the stage with raucous cheer. Opening with Library Books from their latest album After Hours, Close to Dawn, we were treated to some sweet harmonies from singer Fergus Linacre and guitarist Alex Laska; and this continued to punctuate the whole set.
Heavier hitting track Medusa was up next from earlier release Change of Heart, then the well loved bluesy effort I Can Feel That You Don’t Love Me, from first album Microscopic Wars.
Kingswood pumped through tracks from After Hours, Close to Dawn including Rebel Babe and the popular Golden, before sharing 2 new tracks – Hit Home and Messed it Up, with Linacre rocking the tambourine for the latter.
It’s hard to pinpoint a sole influence on this band, but Queens of the Stone Age with a heavy splash of Black Keys comes to mind. Laska mused that the next track reminded him of being a 14 year old kid shredding on his first guitar. The band then stayed quiet as Linacre whipped the crowd into a huge singalong for the opening verses of Ohio, before the crushing guitars kicked in. The bangers continued with So Long, Big City, Atmosphere and Micro Wars.
Using the faux walk-off for a bathroom break, Kingswood didn’t leave us waiting long before returning to stage. Linacre expressed his gratitude to the opening bands and crowd, acknowledging how important it is to turn up early to witness emerging acts, as this is how they found their own support base. Kingswood then launched into a one song encore of Triple J Hottest 100 ranking tune Creepin, which had the whole room singing along. It was a sweet climax to a funky, bluesy, rocking party.
Photos by Owen Gregory