Jeremy Neale at Shebeen (Melbourne)

As my phone service dropped out and the jacket came off, I was back in the familiar Shebeen band room, here to check out Jeremy Neale and his new EP Let Me Go Out In Style. Before Jeremy and his band came out, I came in during Tiny Little Houses’ set – who had an intriguing blend of sounds. The punk-esque timbre of vocalist Caleb Karvountzis, contrasting with music akin to Elliot Smith, it took a song to adjust to, but after that, the remainder of the set was a joy to listen to. Definitely a group to keep your eye on.

After a brief interlude, out came Jeremy and his cohort. Unfortunately, due to some flight-influenced delays (they are the worst), and Shebeen’s music curfew (even worse), Jeremy’s set was cut short. Thankfully for everyone in attendance, we were treated to a limited but brilliant set, showcasing how much of a dynamic and genuine performer Jeremy is. The new EP highlighted a clear 80s reference, particularly with the title track with distinctive synth chords that screamed Depeche Mode or Gary Numan.

‘Hold On Together’ and ‘The News’ proved to be strong tracks off the album, definitely moving Jeremy’s music down the darker and moodier side – particularly in contrast to songs from the gig including 2012 groover ‘Darlin’’, which featured some killer saxophone playing. Jeremy continued to be jovial, taking requests from audience members, before launching into 2013 hit ‘Swing Left’, which was definitely a set highlight. The song has a very punchy and tango feel, with some great vocals from Jeremy really helping this tune stand out on a live stage. This is always enhanced by some loud sing-a-longs from the crowd. With only one more song to end the set, the pleasing sounds of ‘In Stranger Times’ filled the band room, and had every audience member dancing up a storm. With clear references to 60s pop, this song is ridiculously catchy and impossible not to groove to, hence why it is Jeremy’s most popular song, and a perfect choice to end on.

A lot of artists would have struggled to put on a show with missing band members but Jeremy managed to put on a really great gig, showing off some amazing sounding tracks off his new EP. A credit to him and the music, this will definitely be on repeat.

PHOTOS: Jeremy Neale in Melbourne.

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