Oh Wonder @ The Rosemount Hotel
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Oh Wonder reminded me exactly why I love writing for X-Press. Why I love watching and critiquing bands, why I love going along to a gig and expect there to be a very sparse room only to be proven wrong and find a much larger group of adoring fans than expected. It’s as though somehow we got the exclusive tip off for this really great find and for a few hours you share a mutual bond with stranger over the love of a song you know every lyric to. Without being anymore sentimental – I find it hard to discredit or think of a better way Oh Wonder could have performed last Thursday at the Rosie.
Entering into the sweat of a capacity crowd and the balmy heat of a 27 degree night, Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West took their places behind the keyboard and guitar respectively. Wasting no time they jumped into Live Wire as the neon OW burnt a heavy glow.
Eventually introducing themselves, you cant help but marvel at how cute Josephine is. Positively bursting with energy, the high pitched laugh and smile is contagious and translated such a strong sense of happiness – listening to what could be coined ‘Butterfly Pop’.
Following on from the chilled, smooth vibe of Heavy, Shark saw some nice little offbeat synth improvisations that gave you faith in their talent. They are more than ‘indie pop’ – it just so happens that their sound is so palatable it can be considered a pop sub-genre.
Stepping it up a notch with High on Humans they really came to life – jumping at the keyboard, dancing around the stage they were non-stop and both as energetic as one another.
As you watch the interaction between the two of them, curiosity kicks in and you want to know if they are just friends or involved romantically. After reading countless interviews where they steer clear of the question you come to accept and understand that their relationship status does not take precedence over their music.
Nearing the end of the set, well satiated but still feeling the need to criticise I found that I was asking myself if was I reviewing the artist or the performance? Their music isn’t particularly risky or challenging or super niche but their performance was flawless. It was pitch perfect and just the right amount anecdotal too, so maybe I watched too much figure skating during the Olympics by thinking the rating for difficulty and execution should play into it.
Before I could even finish this thought, Josephine opened the next song with this little nugget of inspiration:
“This next one is quite special. For us, it’s about the idea about nothing in the world being insurmountable… we are all wonderfully different and weird and unique and yet we are all the same. We all suffer the same trials and tribulations and we all experience the same fleeting moments of invincibility and power… and then the next day we feel shit again… that’s being human. But I just want to say when you are going through those periods of crappiness and you feel like there is no point to what you are doing or you don’t even know what you are doing and you question whether you’re good enough, if you deserve it… please know that you are good enough and you deserve everything – anything is possible if you just believe it. We wrote this song to always listen to your gut and play by your own rules.”
Before slipping into All We Do, gumming up the ol’ water works it had me taking back everything I previously thought. This WAS enough. It was touching, it was expressive, and it was true to artistic form.
Technicolour Beat was their sign off song and the perfect wrap up to what was a thoroughly enjoyable performance.
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