Hey Geronimo, The Griswolds, Runaway Skyline @ Transit Bar, Canberra (20/09/12)

It’s spring in Canberra and for the first time in a long while a t-shirt can be worn at night without fear of hypothermia. What better evening to witness three bands than on the dawn of the warmer months that make you smile, dance and feel summery once again.

Transit Bar held its usual welcoming glow as the opening act, a local duo by the intriguing name of Runaway Skyline took to the stage. Whilst not a lot of people were there to listen, the pair delivered beautifully textured and echoed sounds from their debut EP A Lighter Blue. The soaring vocals of Ben Loewenstein really hit the spot with moody synth, guitar and vocals from Foster Nihil. Well worth checking out in a quieter venue where you can let the sounds flow over you.

Up next were the ‘next big things’ from Sydney with the lampoonesque name, The Griswolds. Five people squished onto the small Transit stage is always a challenge but the guys managed to bring the energy to the audience with a pumping and exciting set. Similarities to Vampire Weekend are obvious, but with their own brand of harmony and drum fills they manage to pull off their own thing. Highlights were the false start on their second song which we had the privilege to hear before anyone else and the brand new EP being launched on the night. The final song was the oft-heard Triple J hit of the month Heart of a Lion, which exemplifies the direction that this band should look at taking. Exciting melodies, quick rhythm and plenty of drums.

The crowd swelled suddenly as the stars of the night prepared for their set. Hey Geronimo are no strangers to the stage. With members originating from The Boat People and Montpelier, this five-piece band recently supported Owl Eyes and Stonefield in the capital and are three shows into a solid east coast tour. The band kicked right into their set with Carbon Affair. This track has summer hit written all over it. The handclaps, the jangly guitar, the beach boy backing vocals all equal fun. That is what really stood out from this set. The boys on stage were having great fun and this infection spread throughout the bar as the set continued and the crowd swelled.

A band with multiple vocalists and talent oozing from their fingers has a lot of opportunities in this indie-pop loving time that we live in. There is no reason why Hey Geronimo could not take the proverbial by the horns and become the new darlings of the Australian festival circuit.

The night felt like a party as the five piece became six as a trumpeter made his way onto the stage. The small but fun-loving crowd enjoyed themselves sufficiently with the recognisable finale of Why Don’t We Do Something? ringing in their ears as they mingled with the band after the show.

The dancing had warmed us up and for once we didn’t lose that warmth as we stepped outside. Bring on summer and bring on party music!

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