LIVE REVIEW: 78 Saab @ The Annandale Hotel, Sydney 29/10/10

written by Chris Familton

It felt like somewhat of a flashback heading to the Annandale to see 78 Saab, such was the ritual a decade ago when they were fresh faces on the local scene alongside the likes of Bluebottle Kiss, Further and Peabody – seemingly playing every weekend around town.

The newer guard of Sydney music opened the night with Yae!Tiger filling the room with their brand of bold and bouncy guitar pop. They threw off guitar and keyboard riffs with abandon and topped it off with some breezy boy/girl vocals. No one song stood out but they showed they are awash with catchy hooks.

The Jewel & The Falcon featured Patrick from Youth Group and Sarah of The Red Sun Band, a promising collaboration. Their recorded efforts are laid back dreamy pop nuggets with just the right amount of guitar grit but taking it to the stage they failed to match that gentle rock. Their songs seemed to chug along innocuously with subtleties buried somewhere in the mix and it wasn’t until the more urgent final song that they seemed to come to life. It wasn’t a fault of the songs or their execution, just one of those sets that didn’t click.

On the back of their latest album Good Fortune, 78 Saab filled the Annandale with a mix of long term fans and newer recruits to their cause. 2010 finds them in rude health, still firing on all cylinders and live the new songs fitted in beautifully with their earlier classics. Of the new songs, Warm Jets highlighted the solid and intricate drumming of Nicholai Danko while Whatever Rules You Break and All At Sea were perfect examples of how uplifting 78 Saab’s song are with their soaring choruses and Jake Andrews’ perfectly timed lead guitar work. He manages to assemble equal amounts of shoegaze, classic rock, psychedelic and jangle pop influences with effortless ease.

Early single Sunshine was a highlight, still sounding gorgeous with those achingly bent notes and Swervedriver dynamics and they finished things off on a high with the surging Primal Scream-ish space rock of The City Is Humming. To bleed a metaphor dry – 78 Saab showed they too are still humming and in 2010 they’ve found a glorious extra gear.

this review first appeared in Drum Media

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