They picked a pretty good time to visit, the Standard in Taylor Square was buzzing with people reveling in the warm spring weather and the almost infinite prospects provided by the added day off work. The atmosphere inside the venue was relaxed and good humoured as the local support band, Millions, tooled their way through a fairly inoffensive set of guitar rock. It was clear whom the swelling crowd was here to see though.
Deep Heat is one of the brightest and most interesting releases to come out from an Australian group in many years and when the Melbourne band took to the stage it became clear early on that their live show was more than capable of representing the material properly. The band’s lead singer Alexander Gow shimmered onstage in a golden jacket emblazoned with the moniker ‘Deep Heat’ across his back and his oddly amusing blend of front man swagger and cheeky larrikin provided a great focal point for both the audience and his razor sharp rhythm section to work around.
His vocal delivery was spot on too, never overreaching for vocal shredding screams or glass shattering falsetto’s but always sitting comfortably in his range – pitch perfect.
The crowd reacted best to the songs from the new album; particularly the visceral groove on My Man, the wonderful title track and new single Drums although a few songs from some of Oh Mercy’s past efforts were snuck in, much to the vocal delight of a large bank of supposedly die hard fans who’d been listening to Oh Mercy since all the way back in 2010.
By in large though the relaxed air that had reigned earlier on in the night lasted throughout, which was something of a surprise considering the large numbers of people, fairly large amounts of alcohol flowing back and forth and the fact the it was practically a full moon.
By the time Gow and the rest of Oh Mercy brought their show to a close with a rousing rendition of Europa the noise from the crowd has risen to such a point that it seemed fit to blow the roof right off the Standard. As the last shimmery guitar notes faded away and Gow’s golden jacketed sheen stepped off the stage and out of the lights for the last time it became clear to us all that we were doomed to spend the rest of the long weekend trying to get the catchiest of tunes and pop hooks from Deep Heat out of our heads. Like any good pop rock band these are the sort of songs that can get under your skin without you really noticing and by then it’s too late.
Oh Mercy are definitely one of Australia’s most interesting bands at the moment and are certainly worth taking the time to check out. Considering the Deep Heat tour will be taking them to every state in the country over the next few weeks, you really don’t have an excuse not to.