The Phoenix Foundation were quite superb last night at Newtown Social Club in Sydney. I’ve only seen them once before and now, years later, they have a pretty hefty back catalogue to draw from across their 90 min show.
In support Eden Mullholland showcased his warped pop sensibilities across jagged guitars, pulsing synth and with an impressive vocal range. Quirky indie pop capable of causing both a cerebral and physical reaction.
They played a cross-section from most of their releases plus a couple of previews of songs pegged for their next record. Those tracks continue their deft blend of psych pop, melancholic indie rock and the polymorphic propulsion of krautrock and forward thinking and detailed electronica. With a rhythm section that often sounded way more complex than a drummer, bassist and percussionist, they stretched and smeared pop nuggets into widescreen, freewheeling space rock like a futuristic Grateful Dead.
’40 Years’ was a highpoint and crowd favourite but only one of many highlights that also included ‘Black Mould’, ‘Buffalo’, ‘Damn The River’ and ‘Bob Lennon John Dylan’.
On the contemporary musical landscape Twerps and The War On Drugs may be bands of the moment but The Phoenix Foundation were bending ears in a similar fashion long before them. Blistering musicianship, affable stage manner and songs that took on a life of their own through the exceptional Newtown Social Club PA made for transportive experience.