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Kingswood - The HiFi Sydney - acid stag

Kingswood: The HiFi Sydney, May 30

Words by Justine McNamara.

Kingswood were late on stage, which caused the crowd to become restless and appreciate them all the more when they arrived. The Melbourne band have been in Sydney twice in just over two months, and were granted a larger space at The HiFi this time. All of this, and STILL no debut album. How does a band with just a few EPs manage to move into bigger venues, attract bigger crowds and more attention, without releasing some new music to back it up?

They rock, that’s how.

Fergus Linacre is a showman; he brandishes bottles of beer in the air while moving around the stage and connecting with the crowd, and never misses a note. Guitarist Alex Laska doesn’t steal the spotlight with his sexy slide guitar solos or backup vocals, but manages to stand out all the same.

The only thing that let them down during this gig was the sound quality, and this was not their fault. At times, the mix was muddy, the vocals overpowered by bass and there was some feedback throughout. It wasn’t enough to ruin the show – the sound remained consistent for the majority of it – but it was noticeable enough to be irritating.

Kingswood’s cover of First Aid Kit’s ‘Wolf’ sounds like it’s the original version now. If you hear this cover – or see it played live – and then listen to the original version, I guarantee you’ll have a hard time picking who did it better, and which act performed it first.

Big singles ‘Medusa,’ ‘Yeah Go Die’ and ‘Ohio’ got the best reception from the crowd, and from the band themselves, with Linacre launching himself into the first few rows, beer in hand. One criticism is that their stage antics – like dragging two girls on stage and marrying them – and banter between songs came across as though they were filling in time. It was a long set for a band without an album, and the crowd noticed this. One guy even yelled: “Play a fucking song! Rock and roll!”

We were treated to some new songs in the set, and I can only hope these will be recorded and released soon, either on an EP or an album. Overall, it was an enjoyable set by talented musicians, but they run the risk of losing their rawness and becoming predictable if they don’t release and perform some more new music soon. There’s no doubt they’re one of the best live acts in Australia at the moment, this reputation is sure to continue and get them more attention when they add to their catalogue.

Rating: ★★★★ |

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Filed: Featured, Gigs, Reviews

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