Finally on time for a gig (for once in my life) I made it to The Toff on November 2nd ready for what was set to be a great night. Kicking off the evening was young Melbourne based group, I Know the Chief, who I just happened to see playing at The Espy the night before. It was a small crowd but that didn’t seem to hold them back, the band as a whole performing with lots of energy. Playing songs ‘Brothers’ and ‘Creature’, lead singer Benjamin Williams’ smooth and strong voice really stood out, but sadly what were great harmonies got totally lost in the sound of the band. ‘Last Professionals’, their final song, was another wonderfully catchy poppy tune with somewhat beachy vibes, closing a fun and youthful set.
With a bigger crowd having accumulated, family band Castlecomer (pronounced Castle-comb-er courtesy of their Irish roots) took to the stage with their wonderfully folky upbeat sound and five part harmonies – as shown best in ‘Danny’s Den’. The room was singing, and the band who were somewhat taken aback commented “you guys know the words, that never happens to us except when our mothers come” Three new songs were played next, starting with ‘Fight the Undertow’ and the crowd loved every one of them. The next new track started out with an amazing acapella rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ that smoothly transitioned into that brand new material.
Crowd favourite ‘Rosie’, a lovely upbeat tune with a perfect keyboard riff was the predecessor to final song ‘Forrest.’ The wonderful harmonies Castlecomer are known for started the song jovially, with the lyrics “life wasn’t meant to be taken lightly…The best lives are lived not selfishly” absolutely making it. Ending on an ‘all in’ drum piece, the band definitely had the crowd’s attention from the word go, then left them room positively buzzing. I think the lyrics in one of their songs unintentionally summed up the whole situation between the band and the crowd perfectly.
“Jump on the wagon”
The crowd practically surged to the front of the room as Lime Cordiale stepped up onto stage. A few songs in they touched on the usual gig housekeeping – introducing themselves and the show, which saw the Lime boys heading to Melbourne once more, but this time as part of their Falling Up the Stairs EP tour, rather a support slot. The third song of the set brought out some trumpet into their fantastically upbeat and lively music, as well as a bit of unconventionality – with the group’s bass player Louis Leimbach taking lead on vocals. Playing their new EP’s title track ‘Falling Up the Stairs’ it was obvious how much of a good time everybody in the room was having.
Each track from Lime Cordiale seemed to bring everything to the table – chilled grooves, brass and clarinet solos, grooving tempos that went from mellow to five-year-old-on-a-sugar-high energetic in a matter of seconds and loud resounding trumpet notes that seemed to go on forever. ‘Sleeping At Your Door’, their newest single was a highlight, it then followed by two songs that were a bit slower but still had that soulful beat. This seemed to have the crowd all bopping heads from side to side, but few were in time and every second person in a different direction.
Their energy wasn’t much of a crazy one, more like a relaxed fun buzz that just seemed to emit from the stage and infect the crowd. Finishing off the evening with some serious clapping, one crazy trombone solo and another explosion of guitar riffs, the night was sadly over. Too soon, you could say.