Saturday, February 28, 2015
And, strangely enough, of the three shows I've seen at the Fox Cabaret since it opened last year, two of then have been Gay Nineties.
Local boys JPNSGRLS ("Japanese Girls", as opposed to, say, "Japan's Grills") opened up the night, as they started the set with a Goonies reference, the lead singer yelling "Hey you guys!" before launching into a set worth of hard, fast, and raw indie rock. .
Singer Charlie Kerr hardly stood still for a minute, bouncing around stage, miming the lyrics, and even holding the mic stand upside down; he had energy and enthusiasm to spare, and more than once had the fans at the front of the stage singing along. Highlights from the set included the frantic "Smalls" and a song dedicated to sci fi nerds "A Girl From A Different Dimension".
They also did something that I'm not necessarily a fan of, the opening band encore. After they finished up with "Brandon", there were a few calls for an encore and the band came back out to play one last song -- to their credit, though they did ask if there was time, and there was plenty.
Then, after a little too long of a break while DJ Owen Ellis spun, the lights dimmed and the sound of wind chimes filled the cabaret while Gay Nineties took to the stage. They started, appropriately enough, with the first track of the EP, the building intensity of "Intro" exploding into their current single, "Hold Your Fire". Going through the entire EP over the course of the night, weaving older songs in as well, the band showed off their sound that is a distillation of a few decades and genres, that blended together well without ever feeling derivative; hook-filled rockers like "Hold Your Fire", the slightly sleazy "Turn Me On", the groovy hip shaking "Good Times", and the soulful harmonies of "Tangled" all came together for a fun set.
The entire band was on point, especially Malcolm Holt's drumming -- including tossing his drumstick high in the air and catching it literally without missing a beat several times throughout the set -- but especially Parker Bossley, who has an effortless confidence and presence on stage. As they ended the set with the ridiculously catchy "Letterman", Parker lead the crowd in a call-and-response, perched on the edge of the stage, sharing the microphone with fans along the front.
And of course they were back for more, one last song, a rockin' cover of David Bowie's "China Girl", dedicating it to JPNSGRLS.
It's almost hard to believe that Liberal Guilt is only Gay Nineties' second EP; they are still a relatively young band that hasn't even released a full length album, but they've already come out swinging. And judging by the show, I doubt they have any intention of slowing down.