Van She, Rüfüs @ Zierholz UC, Canberra (7/7/12)

Eager fans braved the cold Canberra night in anticipation of an amped up performance from Sydney electro-pop heavyweights Van She at UC’s Zierholz, and they didn’t disappoint – the crowd got all it expected from the amazing four-piece.

The night kicked off with a killer set from the adorable indie-electronica up and comers Rüfüs, who got the crowd well and truly pumped with their vibrant tunes and simple-but-effective lyrics. This is a trio who know how to deliver an indie pop song. Whether it was for an entrancing slow burner like Paris Collides or a surprising and sweetly melodic offering like We Left, the crowd responded with eager adoration, which was the perfect preamble to the night’s big guns. Between acts came a short, sharp DJ set from Canberra’s own Tit for Tat that kept the crowd warm and keen between bands – always a big plus while you’re waiting for the roadies to do their thing between sets.

If you still haven’t been to Zierholz, a gig is a perfect opportunity to check out this fantastic space that is the ideal balance between spaciousness and intimate. If you were lucky enough to get to the front, it almost felt like Van She were in your lap – and who wouldn’t want that?

Van She are a pop-electronica outfit with more than presence – the amount of fun they were having on stage made it impossible not to love it too. Though they have been kicking around for years, have two albums, and a bunch of singles under their belt, the collective ego of Van She is certainly not bloated – they played with modesty and energy. Not to be put off by the somewhat meagre crowd Canberra offered up, they gave their all and left everyone aching for more. More than one member of Rüfüs could even be spotted getting in on the crowd experience, having a bop to a few of the headliner’s irresistibly catchy numbers. Though the crowd undeniably revelled in all the numbers Van She whipped out for them – such as Sarah and Jamaica – the night truly peaked during the last song of the evening, when the band delivered the recent and behemothic Idea of Happiness. The response from the crowd was so high-volume it almost overwhelmed the sound of the band themselves – but not quite as the boys have a powerfully strong sound, and front man Nick Routledge boasts amazing pipes as well as a great hair.

Though more than a few hearts may have been broken by the lack of encore, everyone was too thrilled with what they did play to mourn what they didn’t. The night was truly any Van She fan’s idea of happiness, pardon the pun.