After a stellar and emphatic rise throughout 2017 supporting the likes of RUFUS and Glass Animals, as well as featuring on tracks with Wayfarer, Kilter and Just A Gent, it was LANKS’ turn to grace the Northcote Social Club stage on a cold August night for the sold-out Melbourne leg of his ‘Comfortable’ tour, featuring local up and comers Saastuma on support duties.
From the moment Saastuma began their introductory piece, there was a clear indication that the three-piece would be the perfect act to lead into LANKS’ set with a unique mix of electronica and live instrumentation. Saastuma’s set featured many electronic elements coming in and out of play through the production skills of Cesar Rodrigues that constantly caught you off guard, and heavenly crisp vocals of Maddy Kelly entrancing the whole audience and capturing every emotive moment with ease. The trio brilliantly got everyone up and about with ‘Floating’ and ‘Isolate’ really striking a chord with the masses, as the grooving percussion combined with the pulsating synths gave the perfect platform to get amongst the brilliance that was on offer.
LANKS grabbed everyone’s attention and set the mood alight from the get go, as the crowd instantly connected with the singer/songwriter through the high energy within ‘Golden Age’. The sampled vocals screamed through the band room, and it wasn’t long before the crowd utilised the momentum within the track to get amongst the vibe created. One song which was a welcome addition to any who’ve been following LANKS since the early days was ‘Hold Me Closer’. Not only is this track the perfect podium for the signature falsetto we’ve become infatuated with to shine, but also allowed for the guitar to take prominence and build an emphatic ending to the piece.
The set moved into a more contemplative tone with standouts ‘Bitter Leaf’ and ‘April’ from the latest EP ‘Viet Rose’ enforce the crowd to enter a grooving state of mind. ‘April’ saw the live percussion enter a whole different dimension with some impressive skills on display that perfectly built into an epic crescendo that drew back to the humble beginnings of LANKS on the piano.
It was after this bracket that LANKS highlighted that there was an album on the way, he recently proposed to his fiancé and that ‘all that was left to play were the bangers’, which segued brilliantly into the bass filled collaboration with Just A Gent ‘Heavy As A Heartbreak’. LANKS kept the essentials of the collaboration true to form, but brilliantly added his own take on the track with the implementation of live drums and guitar that filled the room perfectly.
By now, you would’ve thought there’s not much more that LANKS had left in his artillery, but boom – the boy wonder whips out the flute in ‘Sometimes’ and a heavy amount of respect is shown from the crowd with rapid applause and praise. Continuing with the theme of surprises, LANKS’ manager and sister Lou assisted on the recent release ‘Comfortable’ through the trombone that added a unique splash of colour to the track. ‘Comfortable’ was the only track that saw LANKS manning solely the microphone and looking ironically comfortable moving carefree around the stage with a commanding presence.
Overall LANKS has matured at an incredible rate in the past 12 months, and has really come into his own element and sound with his live set. Showcasing hit after hit with perfection, and connecting with all through clever and humorous banter, it won’t be long before the Melbourne singer/songwriter is a regular household name!
LANKS has one more show left on his “Comfortable Tour” which is happening at Jack Rabbit Slim’s in Perth on September 2nd – get your tickets now
author: Chris Salce
photo by: Monique Pizzica Media