Dukes of Windsor, The Emergency, Redcoats @ The Evelyn, Melbourne (13/11/09)

For what would be their last Australian gig for potentially a year, Dukes of Windsor delivered an empowered performance and instilled some fond memories in the fans to be left behind. With the band heading overseas to live in Germany, the Dukes and their followers made sure that their farewell performance at the Evelyn last week was a memorable one.

To open a night of what would include a vast variety of musical stylings, Tehachapi bought their psychedelic/folk sounds to the stage. A small but appreciative crowd progressively warmed to them and their set sent the event heading in the right direction.

Continuing with the psychedelic theme, but instead embracing a rock-influenced core, Redcoats followed Tehachapi’s set. An instrumental opener revealed a pure musical talent and it was not long before the engaged crowd were inspired to sway and move to the captivating rhythm. Tight guitar work and an impassioned frontman were an added bonus for a band that obviously has a lot of potential.

Bringing the support acts to a close and taking the night for an interesting turn was The Emergency. A bizarre selection for main support, the two-piece took to the stage with their synthesizers and what they describe as a concrete/psychedelic/tropical sound. Darkened lighting and an apparent expertise in their own area was not enough to win over the audience. Mostly inattentive, the crowd were more interested in their individual conversations and refreshing their drinks, than embracing the Melbourne band. They came off as a bit out of place in the night’s line-up and are perhaps better suited for a different crowd.

However, this did not dampen the room’s spirits. The audience size multiplied and the atmosphere was buzzing in the build up to the headliners, as all were readily awaiting their appearance.

Entering in a show of multi-coloured lighting and with an array of energetic movement, the Dukes immediately impressed their crowd. Crisp vocals and their infamous catchy beat triggered a lively display from all before the stage, quickly creating a mess of sweat-drenched but wildly enthusiastic bodies.

Playing quite the showcase of their new material, they drew on a number of previously unheard songs; yet this was at no detriment to the audience’s contentment. They were more than satisfied with the set list and welcomed the singles and evident crowd-pleasers The Others and It’s A War with even bigger smiles and a chorus of singing.

Further adding to their charm, they exhibited intra-band energy, a solid group dynamic, and engaged with the crowd in an appreciative and friendly manner, which was humbling to witness.

To express a clichíƒÆ’í‚©, Dukes of Windsor certainly went out with a bang. With a highly visual performance, they made sure that they would be far from forgotten during their absence and left their fans eager for their return.