Wasted Wanderers are going full steam ahead. After releasing their debut EP Goddamn Anything in 2015, the trio went on to perform at this year's WOMADelaide, Surfers Paradise Live, gain a residency at the Grace Emily Hotel and finally release their ridiculously groovy single In Your Fire with a follow up tour of the East Coast. The band topped this off with Saturday’s hometown gig at Jive, a mixture of their modern take on blues and roots plus some new tracks to write home about.
The night faded in with newcomers to the Adelaide music scene (and fellow Grace Emily alumni) Bones Alexander & The Best Extras and some bluesy goodness. Lead singer and guitarist Ty Alexander charmed the early crowd with what can only be described as the face of a supermodel and the voice of a grizzly bear, as Steve Salvi floated through not only the most mesmerizing pedal steel performance I had ever seen, but the ONLY pedal steel performance I had ever seen.
Anyone who knows me has a well-rounded understanding that I am an absolute sucker for a loop pedal, and Oliver’s Army did not disappoint. Two out of five members of the collective, founded by Barossa-born singer-songwriter Ryan Oliver, crossed the border from Melbourne and the intimate set was filled with Pokémon banter, silent piano solos and beautiful lyrics that had me blissfully swaying to their brand of contemporary folk. Grins started appearing as Oliver and pianist/vocalist Gina Somfleth delighted with soothing harmonies and melancholy jams.
With lead man Dusty Lee Stephenson cruising around the crowd throughout the night in an incredibly psychedelic blazer, the anticipation was rising for the headliners. After taking the stage with a groovy new song, Wasted Wanderers, accompanied by Adelaide sister-duo Nikai, launched into crowd favourite and titular song from their debut EP Goddamn Anything, inducing energetic floor stomping and glasses raised high in the air. That beautiful blazer was thrown aside and what followed was Wanderers’ trademark symphony of moods- the shredding of guitar riffs, dreamy harmonies, funky bass and a general feeling of nostalgia.
Highlights included the heavy rock, orgasm of a song Mary Jane, Dusty Lee crooning those heartbreaking lyrics (“It’s a shame/It’s the strangest thing/I might never love you again”) from Keep It To Yourself, and of course In Your Fire, which might possibly be the grooviest, most feel-good song of the year. Having looked around me after the first chord, it was clear that every person on the dance floor had turned into your dorky cousin at Christmas: half cut, dancing hard and wholeheartedly loving being alive. The girls from Nikai delivered infectious Motown inspired choreography, there were beats from drummer Matt Birkin that my body could not forcibly ignore and the sheer demolition of funky rock from Wanderers transported Jive a hundred kilometres away from the doom and gloom outside and into summer’s best rock playlist.
You can download Wasted Wanderers' new single In Your Fire here
Header image via Wasted Wanderers