Gold Fields @ Karova Lounge
It had been a long time between drinks before Gold Fields’ return to their hometown-haunt of Ballarat’s Karova Lounge, but the slick five-piece didn’t disappoint. The beyond-capacity crowd saw the usually cosy, intimate venue transformed into a living beast – the entire crowd either moving as one, lurching towards the stage or scattering up the walls – and any available vantage point to catch a glimpse of the audio explosion erupting onstage before them.
Having performed a number of headline shows and festivals in 2011, including Parklife, from the moment the boys entered the stage, their newly-garnered experience was evident. A new sense of focus and professionalism that transcended their proficient pre-show preparations to manifest itself into a tight and polished set – both controlled enough to roll efficiently from track to track and unbridled enough to maintain their trademark percussively-driven energy.
The energy radiating off the appreciative spectators was palpable, a cyclical effect that drove Gold Fields to make more noise and thus generate more of an approving shriek from the collective masses. Tracks like Gold Fields anthem Treehouse provoked an almost otherworldly uproar of recognition from attendees, it’s cowbell-laden and punchy drum-pop coupled with Mark Fuller’s caramel vocals as they floated over the dance-inducing ensemble, too much for some to handle without generating excessive amounts of noise.
Another particularly notable aspect of the set was Gold Fields delivery of another of their 2011 released tracks, The Woods, which saw the boys imitate the fans’ fervour. As they reeled about the stage, physically pulsating to the intense tribalism the track embodies; they transformed Karova into an eerie dreamscape of ethereal vocals, echoing synths, hard-hitting drums and droning guitar and bass-work.
When it was announced that the last track was going to be played, the scene was reminiscent of Pamplona’s running of the bulls – a surge of heavily breathing, frenzied human beings and the inevitable violence that ensues. The ‘mosh pit’ that was created, a generous term applied to the relatively small number of people such a little venue can contain, comprised of everything a decent one tends to: complete removal of personal space, copious amounts of sweat, complete adoption of a group mentality and a certain amount of ‘tude that is required to throw away one’s inhibitions and lurch forward and back without a care in the world.
Even when the set was over and a few optimistic fans exhaustedly pleaded for an encore, the hometown crowd were evidently satiated with their local golden boys, and with Gold Fields heading over to the US to record some new material, they’ll have to be, for now.
BY SCARLETT TREWAVIS
LOVED: Clinging for dear life onto a friends arm in fear of being trampled.
HATED: The girl whose erratic arm movements continually spilled my drink.
DRANK: Vodka and raspberry.