Unimaginably seductive vocals, riffs bluesy enough to keep your mind subtly wondering, bass deep enough and hair sexy enough to tear through the entire psyche, and timing on point enough to give the band a solid heartbeat. It’s clear that The Vernons are a band so humbly superior, and so impressively beyond their years, that their second show in Sydney for the week would be one to make us question the likability of the unvaried bands to have emerged out of their caves, and onto the music scene this year.
Playing to an intimate audience, The Vernons rock The World Bar in fine fashion. With sultry vocals and stellar guitars, these boys are something special.
The night was one of intrigue. Three bands were lined up to play, and the first began at 11. The tea room rapidly filled with 80s inflicted ‘artsy’ haircuts, monochrome colours, and black doc martins, the ideal uniform for any ‘drama club’ kid as Lizzie McGuire once wisely claimed. As Death Bells took to the stage excitement unravelled, and catchy indie pop songs clumsily enshrouded the small space surrounding us.
Each track mixed trashy beats, pop riffs, and almost incoherent vocals to create an aura that was strangely enticing. The entire 40 minute set saw the band combine upbeat tunes with sad lyricism. A contradicting move that gave their songs the perfect Perks of being a Wallflower vibe. An altogether catchy show that was made interesting, in part, because of the gorgeous Firebird being played with passion.
The second act for the night was Sydney’s own Matrick Jones, who had the majority of the crowd there for the launch of his EP Repetitive Music. With a full band in tow, Jones and his accomplices experimented frequently, mixing a bucket load of ‘wah’, with surfy, reggae beats and indie undertones. Providing the audience with rebelliously positive vibes, and musicianship as tight as the jeans on guitarist James Walsh. With their innovative stylings, and unique approach to songs, it’s clear that Jones’ groovin’ band should be given some serious recognition for their input… ‘Matrick Jones and the Mittens’ perhaps?
At 12am it was finally time for The Vernons to take to the stage, and with the previous bands’ crowds having quickly escaped the impending sound of some god damn delicious rock n’roll, things got rather intimate, with an audience of no more than 40 peeps staying back to watch them do their thing. Performing new and old tracks including Snap, and Keep It Classy, the five piece completely rearranged the existing vibes in the room to showcase exactly what 2015 needs more of; soul wrenching, emotive music that steals away the conscious.
Watching front man Johnny Nyst’s vocals mindlessly howl and echo across the tea room, whilst guitarist James Nikiforides’ riffs dripped down the psyche like water, it was clear that their chemistry is rare and that together they can create a seamless array of sounds, that, dare I say, could well see them become Australia’s own Mick and Keith.
Addiction Blues or better known as the QMA winning To The Sky and crowd favourite White Wine proved to be the niftiest tracks of the night. With Nyst’s indescribably alluring vox that melted through the mind slowly, and bassist Hugh Tait’s slick technique that saw his fingers grab hold of those strings with vigour, it was hard not to be turned on, or at the least, innocently captivated.
The Vernons are refreshing like jumping into a warm bath on a freezing night. They are old souls, who embrace and combine elements of 60s rock, Chicago blues and contemporary indie and sound even better doing so live; much to the surprise of the Lester Bangs lookin’ sound production guy who with a smug look stated “Who would’ve thought a band from the Gold Coast would be so liked here?!”