Oh Mercy @ The Corner, Melbourne (31/10/09)

It was the final leg of Oh Mercy’s album tour and their home town performance was certainly a strong finish. A stellar line-up of alternative/pop artists at one of everybody’s favourite locations, The Corner, was destined to be a night that couldn’t fail.

The evening begun with up and coming Melbourne talent The Ocean Party who successfully warmed up the diverse audience while simultaneously winning a great deal of respect and admiration. Exhibiting a significant amount of natural ability, they produced a highly agreeable alternative sound with a little extra something; namely a twang to their guitars reminiscent of The Beatles. Their stage presence could do with a slight tweaking, however this was easily overlooked due to their frontmans’ vocal prowess and the professional handling of their instruments.

After a lengthy wait, second support Washington followed up The Ocean Party’s performance with an energy-induced set. Mood-lifting, invigorating songs combined with a voice that is both easy to absorb and easy to be absorbed by, placed the band in high esteems with the crowd. Megan Washington knew how to effectively engage with the room and inspired a degree of audience participation that is rarely attributed to supporting acts. Completing the set by delivering her lyrics in a way that was emotive and entirely believable, it was overall a pleasure to experience.

Anticipation levels steadily rose in the build up to the headliner’s set, and the full Corner crowd greeted Oh Mercy’s appearance with increased volume and enthusiasm. They immediately captivated all in the room with their inviting stage presence and their professional, yet friendly, vibe.

The overwhelming positive reputation that precedes them is most definitely earned and well-deserved. Completely in control of their instruments, they allowed the audience to relax and have full confidence in their ability to deliver. The blend of sounds was nothing short of utterly enjoyable and was only further propelled by the inclusion of the harmonica in a number of tracks.

Obviously very at home on the stage, frontman Alexander Gow never let go of the crowd’s rapt attention. His charming, beautiful lyrics won the heart of most and made it all too easy to get lost in the music. Finishing it all off with a delightfully smooth voice that was highlighted with some striking soft tones, you could not have hoped for anything more.

Overall it was a very well put together gig. It demonstrated clever support selection as all bands were complimentary to one another and more importantly, all were killer sets. It’s a rare phenomenon to fall in love with every band in a line-up, but that’s exactly what this gig achieved. A night that you would be happy to experience all over again.