On the eve of the launch of the new album, Idea of Happiness, Sydney boys Van She delivered a cracking, albeit, unfinished set.
Perth’s very own Voltaire Twins got the crowd moving early. Leading lady, Tegan, who is somewhat reminiscent of Metric’s Emily Haines, delivered pitch-perfect, lively vocals. The Twins played songs from their recent EP Apollo including ‘Young Adult’ and ‘Jump Cuts’. Animalia, which was highly rotated on Triple J for the majority of 2011, proved to be a crowd favourite.
With the crowd approaching fever pitch, Van She finally hit the stage. The boys certainly didn’t disappoint by delivering not only favourites from previous album V, but also previewing tracks from the new album. Lead singer Nick Routledge matched the Caribbean, calypso theme of the new album in an outfit that consisted of white jeans, white t-shirt and a watermelon colour unbuttoned shirt.
In a surprising move, latest track ‘Jamaica’ was up first. The song, with its tropical themed percussion and its smoother-than-silk vocal, elicited memories of sun-soaked beaches and swaying palms on an otherwise wintry night. ‘We Move On,’ another track from the new album, demonstrated a level of vulnerability. In the set-up between songs Routledge displayed his impressive vocal ability, with a rendition of James Blake’s ‘Wilhelm Scream.’ Favourites from first album V, followed with ‘Sex City,’ ‘Strangers’ and ‘Kelly,’ proved to be crowd pleasers, with ‘Kelly,’ in particular, evoking a crowd sing-along and, rather surprisingly, dancing, from the mostly indie audience.
What proved to be the final song of the night was “Idea of Happiness,” a fun-to-dance-to, synth filled song. Quite an apt song to finish the night with the album of the same name to be released the next morning. With the audience cheering for an encore, the band tried to reciprocate, returning to the stage to play one final song. However, when they discovered that the percussion system had already been switched off, the rousing set ended rather tamely with a “Sorry guys but the sets over. . . . . .”
Van She’s new album, Idea of Happiness is out at all good record stores now.
-Tegan Carlson. Photography by Daniel Craig.