A frenzy of pure joy: The Babe Rainbow brought all the grooves to the Landsdowne

Like a big family love-in, Parsnip, Banana Gun and The Babe Rainbow brought all the grooves to The Landsdowne Hotel in Sydney last weekend.

When we heard that The Babe Rainbow were touring, obviously we prepped for a groovy time. But last Saturday at The Lansdowne was a level of revelry yet to be rivalled.

The psych-folk-rockers released their self-titled debut album a couple of months back which they’ve followed up with some national shows and a full tour across the UK, U.S., Europe and Canada, finishing up in October.

It’s all a reasonable hop, skip and jump for the guys who wrote and recorded the album while travelling across New Zealand, in an artist squat in Paris, and on a farm back at home in Byron Bay.

They’ve harnessed a sound that is equally as sweet and bohemian as their individual lifestyles. Jangly, gliding guitar licks give way to jungle bongos and silky vocals that are all very Haight-Ashbury ’67 and flat out make you feel like you’ve fallen into a pile of stars.

Their East Coast shows were spurred by the support of Melbourne recruits Parsnip and Bananagun. Each lineup was suitably fluid as members from each band seemed to be on stage for each set, like one big travelling family band.

At the first of two shows at The Lansdowne, Parsnip set things off and beaconed the growing crowd like a tractor beam with their smooth throwback surf rock.

Following in the same vein was Bananagun with a sound like Donovan, The Byrds and the  Lovin’ Spoonful had just been revived and propped upon stage together. Bongos driving the beat, tambourine in the back, rattling guitar, and everyone was grooving right along.

When The Babe raconteurs arrived, the crowd grew even rowdier, eventually prompting some wise words from drummer Stag. The groove remained though and everyone was mostly well-behaved as they swayed themselves into a frenzy.

Peak form was reached with crowd favourite Peace Blossom Boogy and a cover of Blondie classic Heart of Glass. Shakers and percussion were thrown back and forth between the night’s entire line-up who all joined The Babes on stage for what turned out to be the balmiest party of the season.

Following their extensive current tour, they allegedly have their second full-length record ready for release which could drop at any moment. For now, we’re sublimely at ease with some Monkey Disco.

[all photos by Dani Hansen]