LIVE REPORTGREEN STAGE7/28 SUN
A feast for the eyes and ears
Australia’s Hiatus Kaiyote’s early afternoon set came just when the weather was at its sweetest for the whole weekend. Sunny but not hot, light breeze, perfect festival weather. The band’s interesting but accessible sound fit the general mood of ‘just let me sit back and take a moment’ quite well.
I know ‘the first bite is with the eyes’ is about food, but let’s just say this applies to music too. If so, this Kaiyote is a rich dish indeed. Pokémon knees, pink Mickey Mouse ears adorned with Kewpie dolls, a broad canvas of tattoos extending up the throat, shocking blue eyeshadow and Anpanman rosy cheeks. A lot going on. Personally I was more drawn to the bass player’s laid back fashion. Laid back to the point of just being a silk bathrobe and trucker hat. They stood out.
Once the retinal glare died down one was able to sink into the music, which started out quite rich and soulful straight out the gate. Big but not too overly showy vocals, solidly liquid bass-lines and drums played confidently but with restraint. Synths providing texture and mood. All in all a nicely balanced band.
Once Singer Naomi picked up the guitar to add punctuation the the sound it all came together. It was more sitting in your chair and groove than getting on your feet and dancing vibes, but in the sunlight and light breeze of early Sunday afternoon sitting and letting it all wash over you was just fine.
Towards the end of the set they started to get more aggressive, increasingly crunching effects on the bass and increasingly disjointed rhythms. More screaming than crooning in a good way. It seemed to alienate the crowd a little bit, but when the set wrapped with the two vibes dovetailing together the audience was brought right back. Complicated and halting rhythms made the band stand apart from other young groups trying to seed their own plot on the groove-front.
In the end Hiatus Kaiyote did what few bands can do, they managed to be both engaging and atmospheric. If you wanted to engage they were there to meet you, and if you wanted to relax they were there to set the mood.