Tim and Jean, We Say Bamboulee @ OAF, Sydney (30/4/2011)
When We Say Bamboulee stepped on stage with their sleeves rolled up, they initially appeared introspective and serious, avoiding eye contact with the crowd. But buoyed by the positive reception the boys broke into smiles. Each member of the three-piece band worked a sweat up, manning instruments and seamlessly layering their vocals in each song. In the exceptional Waiting in Wisconsin their long undulating vocals weaved together and lingered in the air, creating an eerie echo effect. This ethereal vibe was anchored by solid drumming and up-tempo keyboards.
The Blue Mountain natives seemed to be a strange pick, to warm up for the heart palpitation pop of Tim and Jean. Though they proved to be an apt choice to limber up to and prevent any dancing induced muscle strains or cramps. The crowd bobbed their heads and gently swayed to the smooth synth in Swingsets and 1959. Before the band upped the ante with a trumpet solo in Funeral Song and led by example as they energetically bopped and grooved behind their instruments. With most people sufficiently warmed up by the time the band ended the set with the rather sweet calypso inspired song Solid Gold.
Many continued to sing and dance in the intermission. Mid way through Elton John’s Bennie and the Jets, the curtains opened for Tim and Jean. Within seconds all punters were clapping in unison and the concrete floor was awash with cider, as the bumping and grinding intensified. The crowd wholly heartedly sung along to the Ronan Keating inspired lyrics in the opening number Like What.
This set the tone for the rest of the night as the dance floor only became more amorous when the band launched into Veronica and I Can Show You.
Having amassed an arsenal of tour experience in the past year, the boys effortlessly kept the crowd entertained and avoided any lulls in the set. This was evident in the lack of punters indulging in dance floor conversations, with most people either breathless from the relentlessly upbeat tempo or too busy singing along. Though there still the occasional good-natured heckle “Tim, show us your mo”.
The boys proved that they don’t just rely on synth to survive, as mid set they slide into some a seriously smooth jazz jam padded out with covers of Tom Petty’s Free Falling, which showed off Tim’s freewheeling falsetto skills, and a delightfully synthed-up version of Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere.