A Triple Treat at Zouk
What do you get when you decide to put three bands from three continents – one that spends their time in different countries just walking, an almost tamed but definitely animalistic quartet and a 4-member strong lepak band hailing from this very island – together?
A congregation of approximately 600 people at the club that was ranked 5th in DJ Magazine’s Top 100 Clubs in the World, Zouk.
On June 15 this year, the crowd was treated to 4 hours of great music from Californian surf rock band Wavves and Icelandic experiemental band múm with local act, Shelves, opening the show.
The members of Shelves – vocalist Noel, guitarist Daryl, bassist Brian and drummer Robin – may seem like your everyday working adults, but put them on stage and they become an entirely different being.
A humorous quartet, the band opened with a number from the debut LP, “Brittle Hearts”, to an almost empty front room (save for a handful of fans) but that definitely did not faze them in the slightest as they played on with their passion for music palpable in every drum beat, every song lyric and ever guitar riff.
What is startling about this band is the vocalist’s ability to sound better live than on record, a commendable talent that was definitely a pleasant surprise.
These veterans, who are significantly more mature in comparison to the local acts of today, has had a decade-long hiatus before coming up with their EP which you can buy on bandcamp.
With their stellar pop-rock music performances, the crowd eventually moved forward, filling the entire front portion of Zouk just to absorb the energy that was the lepak exuberance of the band. Their seemingly endless energy saw the band so immersed in their music that the band jumped a fair bit throughout their set with bassist Brian taking the crown for being the energizer bunny of the quartet.
The end of Shelves’ set saw the beginning of Wavves set after an intermittent break, treating the audience with an entirely different genre of rock. Starting their set with “Idiot”, a number from their third studio album, “King of the Beach”.
Fans of Wavves could finally bask in the glory of lead singer’s nasal drone and intoxicating punk rock beats that was also the appetiser of sorts to the mini mosh pit that ultimately happened during the set. Yes, there was a mosh pit… in Zouk.
However, to casual concert-goer, the band may seem a touch too apathetic with their next to no crowd interaction until far later into their set.
With half a decade of experience, the signature apathy that was associated with that album was amplified with their physical presence here in Singapore, which they have proclaimed that they loved, despite making light-hearted jibes about our strict laws.
Múm finally graced the stage an hour after Wavves bid the crowd adieu with their final song, “Idiot”. The crowd, in spite (or because) of the hour, was at its fullest when the Icelandic band took the stage and performed a medley of numbers that would have been the exact opposite of what this iconic nightspot spins.
The band, made up of original members Gunnar Tynes and Orvar Smarason as well as Gyda Valtysdottir, Samuli Kosminen and Sigurlaug Gisladottir, are known to enjoy wandering around in a new country by walking. Reminiscing about their first trip here in 2008, Gunnar and Orvar mentioned their surprise at literally bumping into a friend of theirs in Little India.
Aside from playing numbers from their previous albums like “Map of the Piano”, “Sveitin” and “Blow Your Nose”, the band surprised the crowd – many of whom were fans – with a performance of “Tooth Wheels”, a song from their yet-to-be-released album, Smilewound (set for release in September this year).
In spite of their brilliant ability in blending instruments together in immaculate harmony, the crowd eventually lessened, as the set went on, inching closer and closer to when whatever that’s left of public transport shut its doors for the night.
Though they were easily the most anticipated act for the night, the crowd was probably the most subdued during Múm, thoroughly enjoying their signature atmospheric, experimental sound that was strange, calming, mind-blowing and enjoyable all at the same time.
In all, it was a night of treats for the palates of indie music lovers.