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Architecture in Helsinki

w/ Zowie and Collarbones




I always reserve a certain amount of pity for any artist/band that has the awful duty of being a gig opener . . . just after doors have opened. Especially if they're actually producing decent music, then it's just a disappointment that more people weren't around yet to witness it. It was this sort of case tonight with Sydney/Adelaide beats duo Collarbones. To give them their due, the duo of Marcus Whale and Travis Cook powered through the could-be daunting factor of having less than of a smattering of a crowd gathered before them – their heavy groove vibe and mixture of sampling and dub step fell on politely appreciative ears, if anything.

  

If I were to class NZ electro-pop artist Zowie as anything, it would be teeny. Her height, her dress, her voice, everything about the girl is just so goddamn teeny and adorable. She only really entered my musical radar when I caught the tail end of her set at this year's Future Music Festival. From there, the momentum's kept going for Zowie, following some pretty sweet support slots for Mark Ronson and Katy Perry. I was impressed by the set of tunes Zowie and her band produced, as she channelled the cutesy dance factor of The Ting Tings with the sexed up indie stage presence of Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. While I wasn't too familiar with most of the songs, they were great to dance to – the hipsters in the beer garden missed out.

  

Architecture in Helsinki has enjoyed being one of the leading Australian indie-dance acts of the last decade. Tonight's show, their first in Adelaide in a decent few years, was eagerly welcomed by the all-ages crowd gathered at The Gov. Since the band's fourth album, Moment Bends, was dropped earlier this year, the AiH crew have been flying high. From the onset I felt like I'd been transported back to the 80s; the synth-driven pop of AiH's older material especially prompted dancing and crowd reactions which was amusing to watch and be a part of. As a live act, Architecture in Helsinki comes with a certain robotic yet ethereal aura. The harmonies produced by Cam Bird and his fellow band mates were effortless and smooth, and the band's collective stage demeanour and choreography showed years of gig experience and a true love for performing.

  

It was impossible not to get caught up in the atmosphere which was being generated, what with the catchiness of songs such as "That Beep", "Hold Music" and the stomper hit "Contact High" - a song explained as being about "that first touch a couple has before they make love for the first time". If anything, it explained the weirdness of the film clip. The set was an equal mix of danceable music and swaying ballads, which did nothing but enhance the airy atmosphere which had been conjured up.

  

The crowd tonight seemed to be satisfied well enough upon the gig's conclusion; the level of excitement and general enjoyment permeated through the venue consistently through the entire set. If anything, it's an example of Architecture in Helsinki's capabilities as a set of musicians. They're producers of great music that is able to be transferred equally as successfully to a live crowd as it would be to the solitary listener. The energy the band brought to the Adelaide crowd on this cold night was striking indeed and I'm sure this band will continue to satisfy both their long-time fans and newcomers for awhile to come now.

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