THE JUNGLE GIANTS @ The Capitol gets 7.5/10

The Jungle Giants @ Capitol, Perth
w/ Heaps Good Friends, Lastlings
Saturday, September 2, 2017


Brisbane based indie outfit The Jungle Giants had Capitol at capacity with a hoard of manic fans buzzing for an electric night on Saturday. The first time I saw the four-piece rockers live in concert they were a relatively unknown band supporting folk-rock icons Boy & Bear on their Mexican Mavis Tour back in 2012. Even then they left a resounding impact and oozed an infectious energy from the get-go, demonstrating the sparks of a talent destined to explode into the big-time.

After tinkering through the Australian music scene over the years with a rich bundle of tunes from their first EP’s The Jungle Giants and She’s A Riot it has always seemed abundantly clear that the group were destined to dominate. Finally with the release of their third album Quiet Ferocity on July 7 this year the four-piece have created a fearless sound that explores their quirky and inventive style. Selling out nation-wide concerts, I held high expectations for the Quiet Ferocity Tour.

Heaps Good Friends carved up the stage first with a zesty dance-pop performance highlighted by the honey sweet and remarkable vocals of Emma Fradd. Tune after bittersweet tune, the Adelaide trio’s stage presence was intoxicating and for a first act the band lifted the energy of the room like seasoned professionals. You kind of expect it from a band titled Heaps Good Friends, but nevertheless the chemistry between the band members was endearing and they each turned up in good form, to deliver pretty pop-rock songs with a sly venom (try: “I’m not your chewed up bubblegum”).

Lastlings brought mystique and fat punching beats to the night as the Gold Coast-based brother/sister duo delivered a chilling performance of electronia. The indie-popsters had an array of lush, layered soundscapes that glided alongside the disarming vocals of Amy Dowdle. Ideally, I think their performance would have been more appropriate as an opener for the night — their intense flavour was inspired but the party dithered away a bit.

The atmosphere dawned light and bright as The Jungle Giants bounded onto stage, lead singer Sam Hales grinning down at his screaming fans. The set kicked into gear with a surprising nostalgic treat in She’s A Riot immediately cracking open a can of quintessential indie-rock vibes.

Following up with Anywhere Else — a hit track off their 2013 album Learn To Exist— the crowed was completely charmed swinging along with an intimate enthusiasm. Tired vocals chords meant that Hales needed a little extra love from the audience who were happy to oblige fanatically roaring along with every chorus.

The most appealing aspect to a Jungle Giants show is their ability to exude a warmth and friendly energy. From having a laugh between tracks to sharing drinks with the fans at the front of the mosh, the band really get among their supporters with Hales exclaiming at one point, “this guy has sung every word all night long, thank you man!”

The set-list explored a balanced array of tunes from albums Learn to Exist and Speakerzoid but inevitably celebrated the screeching synths and innovatively free sounds that are Quiet Ferocity. It was definitely a show to be most appreciated by hardcore fans but their bold and brilliantly crafted indie-rock sound could ensnare any listener. The show wrapped up with an encore of Used to Be In Love and Feel the Way I Do and finished incredibly strong, capturing the essence of The Jungle Giants’ evolution as a band.