Hungry Kids of Hungary

With The Holidays & Artisan Guns

The Hungry Kids of Hungary haven't played in Australia since April, leaving music fans eager to gobble up their high-energy live show and highly polished indie/pop tunes. Puns aside, the Hungry Kids are playing shows around Australia as part of their Shady Haze of Winter Tour. The Holidays and Kiwi's Artisan Guns support them throughout the tour, and on Friday night the bands played a highly anticipated show at The East Brunswick Club.


As I make my way in fifteen before Artisan Guns open the night's proceedings, I hear two girls in the ticket line being told that the show is a sell out. It's testament to the pulling power of the Hungry Kids; they're generating a heap of well-deserved hype.


The Artisan Guns, a four piece from New Zealand, tap into two main genres; edgy, rough sounding indie rock, and folk/pop complete with multi-tiered vocal harmonies. I couldn't shake the feeling that I'd heard it all before. The vocalist sounding uncannily like Yves Klein Blue's front man in the rockier stuff, the band is a combination of Boy & Bear and Fleet Foxes when they tried their hand at folk/pop. It was only towards the end of the set that their new single Brains! was unveiled. The Artisan Guns have found their niche and is the only band who sound like themselves.


People flocked in to see The Holidays take the stage with an extra percussionist in tow, as has become the norm for the Sydney band. With a debut album to be released in early October, they've generated quite a following. The Holidays went about rewarding those who turned up early to see them play a fantastic set. The Holidays play summery music that has more than a tinge of a pacific island vibe to it, thanks to the odd percussion. Complete with vibrant guitars, bongo drums, a cowbell and a drum pad to complement the conventional drum set, and catchy vocals, The Holidays are not your everyday indie band, but boy does it work for them! Highlights of their set were the Triple J featured track Moonlight Hours, and lead singer Simon Jones comically falling off the stage, trying to pass it off as a deliberate act, and then tumbling back onto stage again, minus a shoe. The Holidays aren't conventional in their music or live shows, but they simply exude energy, and they sure know how to get a crowd moving.


If I thought the East Brunswick Club was full during The Holidays set, it was absolutely chockers just before the Hungry Kids started their set. They went about pleasing the huge crowd the only way they know how; corny jokes, generating audience involvement and busting a gut onstage; The Hungry Kids don't do fancy lightshows.


The Queenslanders kept the crowd at fever pitch by, for the most part, playing all the old favourites. Coming Around opened the set, and China and Window Shopper both slotted in; but other than that, it was old material that never fails to thrill, but left me hungry (pun intended) for more of the new album.


If you've heard both EP's (That's Mega Mountain and the one simply called EP) then you'd have known nine of the 13 tracks played. And if you're one of the masses who are in love with Wristwatch, you've already heard a lot of the set.


The set didn't lack material, it was more like a (yummy) tasting session of the album which will make you want to hear the rest of it soon. Quite a clever promotion tactic.


Standouts of the set were the infectious Let You Down, the full crowd sing-along to Arrest This Heart and the pounding Ryan Strathie handed to his drum kit.


Vocallist and keyboardist Kane Mazlin is the life of the party onstage, dancing like a whirling dervish, handing tambourines to members of the crowd and taking photographs of the crowd in between songs. The Hungry Kids made the audience feel actively involved in their set, which makes for a great live show. This enthusiasm to get the crowd involved culminated in a few members of the crowd being invited on stage for the encore. They vibed away for Lenny, and at least 30 people were up there for closing number, Good Times. Good Times indeed, and good luck to anyone who could tell the band apart from the crowd.


It's not hard to see why the Hungry Kids are so renowned for being great live performers. Just don't expect a fancy light show!

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