Home to hundreds of talent musicians and bands who stay hidden in our little town and frequent our favourite bars and clubs, Adelaide is easily the underdog in Australian music. With so many incredible bands of different genres - it's odd that you don't often see an all-Adelaide lineup of bands tour Australia. Over the past 12 days, the Adelaide melodic hardcore trifecta - Ambleside, Hindsight & Sleep Talk, have been driving across Australia and spreading the Adelaide love to our sister states. Lucky to join in this exciting tour, I readied my bag, liver and laptop for what would be a crazy couple of weeks.
Bands, beers and burrito bowls, the Shape Me tour has been 12 days of live music, love and partying. Struck by detours from floodwaters, heavy rains that saturated trailers and soaked equipment, two overnight fog-filled drives between state-lines and blistering heat in Brisbane, the tour was met with adversities and tired eyes, yet our spirits were never dampened. Sneaky naps in local parks, drowning jugs of Coopers Pale Ale in lawn bowls clubs and making new friends, the tour was met with interstate friends, family and music-lovers. The shows, especially Brisbane and Wollongong, saw kids jumping from second-story walls, and on one-another in desperate attempts of mic-grabs.
The newer kids on the block, Sleep Talk, have been making waves this past year with release Growing Pains and a string of shows that have solidified their mark in the local, and now national music scene. Jacob Clement has an encouraging ability to control a crowd, and the band proved themselves each night with crisp dynamic tunes, trumpet solos and control. With the addition of new guitarist Fraser Ray, who is introduced with a killer blues guitar solo in the ambient but hard-hitting opener of each set, the band are now stronger than ever. Crowd-pleasers Sorry and Mother won over punters, welcomed with high-fives and group singalongs.
Whether you like melodic hardcore or not, Hindsight are undeniably one of the most captivating bands live. Bursting with overwhelming amounts of energy, the five-piece never stops. Flying fists, punk jumps and a guarantee that vocalist Jack Nelligan will find something high to jump from, their live performance so engaging that, despite knowing someone might get hurt, you can't look away. Bassist Jazz Syndo steals the show, throwing his body across the stage with guest vocals in W.I.N.G.S. This performance, though, is not an act as it ties in with the ultimate raw and abrasive emotion that lies within their music, namely in latest release Disposable Paradise. Definite stand-outs each night have been tracks Night Light, Disposable Paradise, and singalong Love Over. Greeted by frenzied passionate mic-grabs, their balance of heavy riffs and melodic overtones, as well as the ridiculous energy, indicates that Hindsight are a band that will continue to make a mark in the melodic hardcore music scene.
Swirling circle pits and crowd surfers, the Shape Me tour has been the Australian premier and first run of shows for Ambleside in over 7 months. Opening each show with Dear Mother, the airy bass-heavy ballad sets the room for 'the calm before the storm'. The storm is a thirty minute set of high energy, singalong tunes, enriched with high production, dynamic control and musical climaxes. Incorporating sound-grabs, an additional bass drum that is hit with mallets, and a keyboard, it's clear that Ambleside have put thought into the creation and composition of their live performance - which really pays off. Daniel Stevens is easily one of the best vocalists in the scene, as his raspy, punchy vocals compliment the heavy drumming of Ash Mayes, bass grooves of Jono Young and the clean vocals shared by Jackson Butler and Dean Lawrence. Highlights of each set are opener Dear Mother, Forgive Me Pt. I and Tired Eyes. Treating audiences to a special climatic instrumental introduction to track Wash Away, Ambleside wowed audiences across Australia.
The Shape Me Tour concludes this friday - catch the boys at the Adelaide Unibar, with friends Melbourne Harbours and Bearclaw Camp. Doors 7:30pm.
Images via Kieran Ellis-Jones, Rowan Donohue, Jordan Tito & Taylah Walton.