This was a gig that I had circled on my calendar in big bold red marker. After reviewing the self titled album by The Kite String Tangle for Acid Stag, I was very curious to see how the Brisbane based artist would convert a hard hitting, electronic, driving album in a live setting.
AUSTEN opened the evening with some great beats and amazing vocals. Golden Vessel then played to a packed Oxford Art Factory getting everyone in the house thoroughly warmed up for The Kite String Tangle. This Brisbane based producer has been making waves within the Australian electronic music scene over the last 24 months, with rotation plays on Triple J and a few national tours. GV’s skilled production and beats are matched by the vocal abilities of his live performance buddy Connor Grant (aka Akurei), with highlights being ‘Shoulders’ and ‘Less ~More’ off of his recent “Right/Side EP”. Also enjoyable was when beat maker Max Byrne embraces his inner Hip-Hop head and raps over the top of some tasty, RnB inspired beats.
Now first up, I wasn’t told, but this was a live set. Danny Harley is joined by some drums, live synth and sampling, plus at times, a 2 man horn section with trumpet and trombone. This makes quite a different sound and created very different emotional responses from the heavily electronic and tightly produced album. It meant that The Oxford Art Factory was not a big enough venue. It is a massive sound that needs a big room. How Harley and co have translated the album live is impressive, with way more energy than the album was capable of producing. At times it feels like a modern take on a Ska band, with Ska meeting EDM.
Opening with ‘Waiting’ and being joined by warm up act AUSTEN, has the crowd up and moving. High energy, amazing vocals, big sound. I’m already sold. Back lit lights, strobes, 5 people on a small stage, with Harley slamming his beat pads and synths for songs like ‘The Prize’, ‘Wanderlust’, and ‘Selfish’ overawes your senses and beats you into submission in the best way possible. ‘Fickle Gods’ is performed well live, with Harley starting again with his diverse range of vocal abilities.
‘This Thing We’ve Got’ is upbeat and poppy with live trombone and trumpet. Harley is an energetic and likeable performer. Stomping around stage belting out lyrics, thanking his horn section, drinking a beer. A real connection emerges between, Harley, the music, and the crowd.
The gig gets to a damn conclusion, with an absolutely killer live rework of ‘Praise You’ by Fat Boy Slim which had the crowd in sweaty raptures amongst the collective groups crescendo of electronic rock. ,The encore followed, including earlier work ‘Arcadia’. The crowd wasn’t finished for the first ending, but the Encore was high energy and left the Factory feeling totally satisfied.
The Kite String Tangle has shown how to turn a good but electronic album into a massive and energetic live show by melding genres together. The only thing left to do now is have a chat to his booking agent and demand some bigger venues, because he damn well needs it.
author: Anthony Glanville
photo by: Jordan Munns