Baby Animals
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Baby Animals

King of the North




I’m happy that the Baby Animals gig was at the Hi-Fi, because it’s such a cosy and intimate venue. I found a chair on the higher level that I could comfortably sit on and savour the music like a tasty piece of cake.

Supporting the Baby Animals was King of the North, a two-piece rock band. If you look them up, they say they sound like rock bands, and are influenced by rock bands. Frontman Andrew Higgs used his effects pedals to make his guitar sound like two guitars AND a bass guitar at the same time, while Danny Leo backed him up with a ferocious drum attack. The sound coming from this outfit is rather remarkable; only two instruments meant that the music is almost entirely based around the guitar, something that I miss nowadays. After you go to as many gigs as I have, you start to get sick of support acts, but these guys won me over and the crowd, too.

Opening with one of their first hits, ‘Rush You’, The Baby Animals had fans going nuts and singing along. It sounded very much like the album version, so the band is still clearly in fine form.

Suze DeMarchi is a great frontwoman. For someone in her late 40s, she's hot and isn't afraid to get down and dirty. Clearly, the fans weren’t afraid either as they were perfectly OK with Suze “giving back" by drinking from an expensive bottle of wine and “passing it on” to the mouths of lucky (I guess?) fans. DeMarchi loves to move around stage while performing - she is a real rockstar.

DeMarchi's voice is powerful but also soothing during the slower songs. While the music on all three of Baby Animals' records is pleasantly consistent, something that I would like to see both on stage and in the recording studio is a greater guitar presence. Dave Leslie plays some great leads, but it feels as if he’s been holding back. However, their new record This is Not the End indicates that they are possibly heading in this direction.

The songs I recognised from the new CD, ‘Email’ and ‘Under Your Skin’, both had a harder edge than most of the older material. The fans seemed to be digging the new tracks too, even if they didn't know them that well.

The set was short but sweet – well under 90 minutes - and The Baby Animals ended their set with a cool instrumental jam. I had a great time, and if you missed them on this tour, they're touring Australia again in October.

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