Opossom @ Phoenix Public House
At the very end of 2011 I interviewed Unknown Mortal Orchestra on their first tour with Kody Nielson on drum duties. When I pressed a rather pensive Kody, he simply replied “I’m just the drummer”. After leading the now-defunct Mint Chicks, Kody seemed to have found comfort away from the spotlight in his brother’s increasingly popular outfit. But now in 2012, Kody once again leads the charge, this time with solo project (of sorts) Opossom.
The live incarnation of Opossom tonight consists of Kody, former Mint Chicks bassist Michael Logie, and compatriot Bic Runga. Despite the relatively limited palette of a three-piece formation, the trio were adept at generating a psychedelic hurricane of noise.
Lighting for the performance was kept at a bare minimum, with a light green hue steadily illuminating the stage. This is the kind of shit that would benefit from an intense complementary visual element, but it wasn’t the case tonight.
Kody seemed to be bound by a typically Kiwi display of self-deprecation. Not to say it was in any way malevolent, but the performance was littered with utterings of frustrations at malfunctioning equipment throughout the night, with Kody projecting an all-round insecurity as the band burned through their set in a matter of fact manner.
Getaway Tonight was simple and uplifting, a deft display of pop smarts. Runga took to the drums to display her psychedelic chops, and Blue Meanies grooved along with an irresistible bassline.
Despite the astronomical motif, the band weren’t necessarily reaching for the stars. But it could very well prove to be a slightly turbulent take-off for a very big year for Opossom. Soon enough, Australia will be claiming them as our own.
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
LOVED: Being able to stroll down to The Retreat for Fraser A. Gorman in between bands.
HATED: Knowing that the venue has been struck down in its prime.
DRANK: A toast to Phoenix Public House.