Geoffrey O'Connor - Friday November 4, Northcote Social Club
The Northcote Social Club band room is hard to fill at the best of times, but the kids are out in full force tonight to support Crayon Fields frontman turned electro lothario - Geoffrey O'Connor. Launching his debut full length Vanity is Forever, O' Connor has built up quite a reputation over the years, his popularity evident by the substantial crowd that has gathered this Friday evening to see him play. I miss the first two support acts but arrive in time to see Super Wild Horses grace the stage. Their '60s pop tinged garage is captivating, the simple guitar/drum combo reminds me of certain Olympia bands of the '90s crossed with the girl garage sounds of the Belles or Liverbirds. The bond between the two girls is evident, levitating the music beyond its simple song structure. The highlight for me was the cover of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' You Really Got A Hold On Me - its stripped back and bare, the girls' dual vocals bring a sincerity to the song that really hits home. It's great stuff.
O'Connor takes to the stage amidst a spectacle of brightly coloured lasers; there's a new swagger in his step as the backing track begins and he croons the opening lines of So Sorry. Esther Edquist (Superstar) provides backing vocals, her lovely voice sits perfectly behind O'Connor's, dreamily intonating the chorus in hushed, barely-there tones. As O'Connor moves through his set list I notice his vocal isn't loud enough at times, the full force of the studio recordings not completely realised in this live capacity. But still it's enjoyable to watch, O'Connor moves around the stage, wrapping his microphone lead around his wrist in a semi-seductive way and at other times sits on top of a speaker to serenade the audience.Now And Then works better; it's slow paced romanticism again highlighted by Edquist's lush vocals. The set ends with the first single Whatever Leads Me To You O'Connor's vocal moving at a slow pace, its low whisper building up to the single's super catchy chorus. The dance-like drum beat of the song harks back to '80s era Roxy Music, it's a sound that will no doubt appeal to many and I can see O'Connor being quite successful in his new incarnation as solo artist.
BY CASSANDRA KIELY
LOVED: Seeing a bustling, full room at the Northcote Social Club.
HATED: Mix was a little flat.