Engulfed in groove: Eagle Eye Jones cast a spell upon Henry’s Rooftop

A storm rolled over Manly last Thursday, but that didn’t hold the crowd back from getting down to Hotel Steyne to catch two firing local acts, Eagle Eye Jones and Vintage Slims.

Vintage Slims opened the doors with some jazzy, funky sounds hinting at grooves from The Doors’ An American Prayer. The Eagle Eye Jones jam-mates warmed the room as nervy punters of all ages rolled in, glancing around a vibrant Henry’s Rooftop.

eagle eye jones hotel steyne henrys rooftop manly
Photos: Kane Lehanneur / Nicholas Pilatos

Bursting straight into debut single Bad Omens, Eagle Eye Jones’ crooning calls were echoed in the crowd, while warm lead licks set the mood for the ensuing journey.

The Vial followed Omens to slow the tempo down as the crowd swayed, before Eagle Eye Jones rolled straight into their booming self-titled track. Franny sunk into a spoken word journey, followed by a powerful guitar solo.

Rhythm guitarist Toby then stepped forward to the mic, encouraging the crowd to close their eyes as he summoned Dreaming to the packed room. Latest single You Know Me Best was next, a love song for all the lovers. By this stage the crowd was fully engulfed, every note screaming from Franny’s 1954 Strat.

For my sixth Eagle Eye set in just as many weeks, a few things are materialising with their look and feel. An ethos was resonating through their breezy onstage demeanour, the monologue recital accompanied by a groovy wiggle. Toby mouthed his counterpart’s lyrics as he gazed absently into the ceiling, not drawing from Fanny’s section, rather feeding his own passion for their music they know too well.

Jason’s comfortably versatile rhythms, woven with Dyl’s in-the-pocket basslines, fashion a backbone for the sun-drenched guitar parts that flowed between lead and rhythm. Keyboardist Jammin brought a welcome sonic element to this show, his debut, bringing a new level of experimentation to the outfit.

From progressive #StopAdani support gigs, to breweries and iconic bars and clubs across Sydney’s inner city and west, these boys are ticking all the right boxes. They’re musicians who take their job seriously, with a lively onstage presence, evidently loving every second.

After a cluster of laid back jives, namely Broke The Spell (a newcomer to the expanding set list),  Stay A While, and Do All Houses Dream, the crowd bopped and swayed to the seasoned fixture of an EEJ set.

As the lights faded and the crowd cried for an encore, the boys bellowed back on with a song that couldn’t be more fitting. Victoria, an energetic track, one I’d assume was written on the back end of a night at the Steyne judging by the lyrics.

Eagle Eye Jones have just released a brand new single You Know Me Best with a tour to accompany. You can catch their headline show at Oxford Art Factory on Saturday March 9th – one surely not to be missed.

Find out what’s on at Hotel Steyne here.