LIVE REVIEW: Donny Benet @ GoodGod Small Club


written by Chris Familton

Kirin J Callinan is one of the more eccentric musicians on the Sydney scene creating dark splashes of guitar as sidekick to Jack Ladder and as a solo artist. Tonight he was the latter, playing a set that was stark, noisy, brooding and caustic and ultimately intriguing. His guitar style was open and highly evocative of everyone from the experimental side of Neil Young to no/cold wave brittle funk built around loops and effects. Callinan likes to make his performances as striking visually as they are musically and so for this show he was in ghoulish makeup which worked effectively in combination with Goodgod’s shadowy lighting.

Collarbones were just as quirky but on an entirely different plane. Two guys, a laptop, effects units and a mic is all that was needed for the duo to cook up some inspired dance-floor action with their brand of glitchy, r’n’b flavoured electronic pop. These guys have a great synergy with each other both musically and as performers and showed a healthy dose of self-deprecating humour which always goes down well. They started with a Justin Bieber cover and proceeded to take a collage approach to blending all manner of styles with Marcus Whale‘s pop croon tying it all together.

Donny Benet is the man of the moment and with a debut album to be launched and celebrated he graced the Goodgod stage in his baggy white suit and mustache and laid down a highly entertaining set of electro pop. It is a fine line that Benet walks – between brilliant concept and being a novelty/joke band. He succeeded in leaning toward the former by not overplaying the character and for the most part playing the music proficiently and with authenticity. His sound lies firmly in the 80s with tinny electro drums, funk bass, a heavily processed guitar and a keen mastery of the pitch bender on his moog and measured against the future pop of that decade Benet pays homage with both sincerity and a knowing wink. Girls of Japan, single and album title track Don’t Hold Back and Takin’ The Heat were standouts and though Benet’s voice is his weakest asset he made up for it with charm and some killer guitar and synth solos. He finished with a cover of Elvis’ Burning Love which sounded like Sigue Sigue Sputnik colliding with Suicide. It was that good.

See more photos from the gig HERE

this review was first published in The Drum Media

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