Hungry Kids Of Hungary
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Hungry Kids Of Hungary

With Little Odessa, Them Swoops and The Preatures




It’s a strange feeling outside West End’s Hi-Fi tonight. It’s a brisk evening by Brisbane standards and the usual line up to get in has been replaced by small huddles of punters smoking and chatting away. Tonight, there are four bands taking to the stage, and that may be the reason devout Hungry Kids Of Hungary (HKOH) fans have put off their arrival until a bit later on. But, nevertheless, the doors open bang on 8pm and whoever those standing outside finish off their conversations, and casually head in.

First to hit the stage are Brisbane four-piece Little Odessa. These boys are definitely making the best out of a tough situation and doing it with style. Their brand of ‘60s American rock n roll is infectious, and gets the early arrivals asking 'Why haven’t I heard these guys before?’ Their music is without a doubt fantastic, with tight tom-heavy drums underneath telecaster guitar licks and Hives-style vocals. Songs like ‘Scorpions’ and ‘California Smiles’ are extremely catchy and manage to get the crowd twisting and shaking along. No sooner than I write into my phone “Elvis Costello influences” do the boys whip out a pretty impressive cover of ‘Pump It Up’. Throughout the set the crowd starts to build and as the couple behind me said “Wow, what a start to the night”.

Next up tonight are Melbourne based outfit Them Swoops. After digging around a bit online it appears these guys are primarily a duo but tonight they are a five-piece. The effect is a massive wall of sound, which is solid, effortless and really gets the crowd (which has now swelled considerably in size) pumping. To put a finger on what these boys sound like is tough, maybe think Spoon cross Black Kids cross Two Door Cinema Club-esque. Whatever you call it, their style of indie-electro-pop is really high quality and a nice compliment to the earlier Little Odessa. With so much going on up on stage it’s easy to overlook the drumming in a band like this but it really is to be commended. It's super solid, tight and keeps the abundance of instruments locked in, which is especially hard to do in the more electro-driven numbers. ‘Holiday’ seems to be a crowd pleaser with its maraca-filled summer vibe.

Sydney-based The Preatures cap off the trifecta of capital cities represented tonight, and it’s a testament to the quality of young bands in Australia. The dusty velvet curtain pulls back to reveal the five-piece in all their leathery goodness. BUT it has to be said, possibly a strange choice for tonight’s show. There is no doubt The Preatures are super-talented at what they do. Their bluesy rock is flawless and musicianship is polished and tight, yet it all seems a bit lost on the crowd, especially after the two opening acts. To their credit, the second half of their set gets a bit more upbeat and the crowd almost instantly start to appreciate it. Highlight of their set was their new track, ‘Is This How You Feel’.

After all the build up, it’s time for the main attraction as Brissie locals Hungry Kids of Hungary hit the stage to the roar of the hometown audience. A Triple J favourite and regular on the domestic tour scene, HKOH have built quite a reputation. Tonight they are plugging their new album You Are A Shadow, which has already received extensive critical acclaim along with obvious audience appreciation. New tracks like ‘Sharp Shooter’ and ‘When Yesterday’s Gone’ show off a new, dirtier side to the band and are a clear hit with tonight’s punters. Singing along to every word seems to be a feature of HKOH fans including new tracks and also older favourites like ‘Set It Right’ and ‘Scattered Diamonds’. Complete with glowing kick drum and microphones, the growth of the band in the past few years is unreal. They have gone from indie-pop rockers to the polished professional act that has taken to the stage tonight. The boys seem truly grateful for the hometown reception and the audience love it.

What started as a cold Brissie night - both in temperature and crowd participation - has turned into an all out assault from a bunch of super young Aussie acts.
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