Dead Letter Circus @ Fowlers Live, Adelaide (29/05/10)


There are few cures to the misery of a blisteringly cold night in Adelaide. One of which includes staying indoors, most likely at home, next to the heater or fire with a warm meal, a good movie and layers of blankets. Another option is to actually not become a grandparent or hermit due to the weather, and to get out there, ignore the freezing temperatures and enjoy the nightlife. Fortunately Adelaide’s youthful exuberance has not been affected by the winter’s calling, because it was a sold-out show at Fowlers Live for Dead Letter Circus’ album launch.

Adelaide’s Quiet Child opened the nights proceedings with their complex arrangement of alternative rock. There is a little bit of everything in the quartet’s sound which makes it nearly unfeasible to describe it or for that matter, properly subscribe it to a genre. If Queens Of The Stone Age collaborated with Iron Maiden asking Soundgarden to contribute whilst trying to reinvent the Post-Metal sound, that would probably create Quiet Child. Featuring songs from their album Evening Bell, the four-piece had the crowd drifting away to their spacey sounds and elaborate rhythms. Not quite the fiery, energetic boosting set which is usually expected from the opening band, but in no was a ‘swing and miss’ situation. With a few more solid supporting roles, Quiet Child will surely make their mark.

Melbourne’s Sydonia have definitely moved in leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. Having released their debut album Given To Destroyers, subsequently the quartet have been invited to tour our fine nation with Lamb Of God, Slipknot, Machine Head and even Stone Sour across the USA. So it was a little surprising to hear the opening song from the band being a subtle, quiet progressive track which had the charisma of any Muse song, but the dreary noise of almost a rainforest soundtrack. This was soon to change as the four-piece launched into a heavy follow-up song which could only be described as chaotic, certainly winning over the crowd. From there the set became literally a wall of sound, with guitarist Sam Haycroft and bassist Adam Murray often assisting drummer Sean Bailey with extra percussion duties, as well as some guest appearances from former Mammal members. The band’s show is almost theatrical and really something that has to be witnessed, if a Muse metal hybrid is at all possible, Sydonia are it. Apparently a follow-up album is well into the works, so keep an eye out for it.

Finally the headline act, Brisbane’s Dead Letter Circus. It has been long wait for the release of their debut album This Is The Warning, and the electronic instrumental opening track seemed to make the audience wait that little bit longer and become almost restless. But soon all was forgiven, as the quartet rushed onto the stage and launched into a musical attack leaving no rest for the wicked. With they’re own lights show at hand, Dead Letter Circus has really gone above and beyond for this album launch tour, as visually it was awe-inspiring. Focusing mostly on tracks from the album (it was the launch obviously), highlight tracks included: Big, The Space On The Wall, Cage, One Step and Reaction. The quartet have clearly progressed since the release of their self-titled EP as a lot of the songs off the LP have a huge electronic influence, which at times may have taken a little away from Rob Maric’s awesome guitar abilities, but without a doubt highlighted Kim Benzie’s amazing voice and truly let it soar. If there was any fault of the night, it was probably the lack of stage energy that Dead Letter Circus puts into their show, as they try to captivate the crowd by letting their music doing the talking. This does work incredibly, but some of the tracks require on stage energy, not just chemistry. Still, there is a reason why This Is The Warning landed at number two in the charts, and to be honest, I can’t wait to see it again.