Warning Birds/Flower Drum
Fremantle Arts Centre
Saturday, October 2013
The gorgeous Fremantle Arts Centre was filled with beautiful music for the launch of amberola, the new album from talented local six piece The Morning Night. With production by Ricky Maymi of The Brian Jonestown Massacre fame, this well polished offering delighted an audience from across a vast age range under a star-accented sky.
The first group to lay down their sweet sounds were the marvellous Flower Drum. While depleted in numbers with two of the usual four piece currently away, the emotional content and almost meditative precision of the group’s work remained rich and full. Awesome ability and a subtle use of effects, paired with exquisite vocals, were the common theme. Through creative use of pitch effects, they also built alien soundscapes that still possessed an organic warmth.
The Warning Birds were next to take their place under the softly coloured lights. With a style that is relaxed and genuine while still maintaining a great energy, soaring vocals in the higher register created a mesmerising effect. A variety of instrument changes, including the addition of synth keys, blues-style guitars and even a change in lead vocalist made for a varied and well textured listening experience. It was akin to sailing over an ocean of perfectly placed sounds and true inspiration, which included their new track Horrors which apparently stemmed from our recent federal election.
The Morning Night finally entered the stage for the main event. While the majority of their compositions are positive in nature, their lyrical content seemed to cover anything from love strengthened by pain to images of a fiery personal hell. The Art Centre inner courtyard was filled with the full spectrum of sound aided by measured processing, controlled feedback and outstanding musicianship. From what has obviously been a significant amount of hard work emerged a performance invoking trance-like awe. The harmonies by lead singers Isaura Campbell and Adrian Hoffman were as powerful as ever and at each pause between songs the crowd showed their delight with cascades of applause. There were moments where the smiles painted across each band member’s faces were simply glorious. It’s always wonderful to feel that the love of the music is shared by everyone in the space. For the final few numbers, the band was joined by an expert trumpeter and they finished with an incredibly emotional rendition of George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass.
This evening of music was something rare indeed. All three bands managed to create a feeling of timelessness and a sense of something deeply human. The collaboration of artists and bands together was in itself a sort of magic that left me affected by a kind of euphoria. If this is something that The Morning Night can recreate as their path continues, this launch will spark a brand new day and continued success for this ambitious group.
_ JAMES HANLON