Let’s get this one thing out of the way to begin with: we here at DoneUndone LOVE Kingswood. Not in a creepy, stalky kind of way – well, maybe a little – but mostly we love their pure rock sound, and the fact that they all have beards. So this was never going to be a particularly impartial review. End disclaimer.
The Kingswood gig at Melbourne Public on the 7th of June was, unfortunately, part of their farewell tour prior to departing our shores for the US. And while we’re of course very happy for them, the show did nothing to make us any less sad to be bidding them goodbye.
A few things before we get to Kingswood…
We’d never been to Melbourne Public before, and we found it a little difficult to find. Hidden away behind the World Trade Centre, it’s in a lovely Docklands street that we didn’t even know existed. When we did find it we knew almost immediately that it was not our kind of pub. Light, high-ceilinged and with an ample bar and plenty of staff, it was not the slightly seedy, dimly lit kind of place that we feel most comfortable in. It felt more like a night club with carpet and too much light.
The light didn’t dim much when the support band came on, which made it feel a little less concert-like than I was expecting. Still, it didn’t seem to faze My Echo, who were certainly there to put on a show. I’ll confess – I hadn’t heard of My Echo before and I don’t know much about them. They did play one song that was familiar but whether because I’d heard them before or it was a cover, I honestly couldn’t say. They certainly weren’t lacking in fans though. While most of the crowd were obviously there to see Kingswood, there were definitely some My Echo fans in their midst.
Personally, I found them a little Living End-esque. Their stage manner was showy and a little theatrical, and I think their target audience is a little younger than I am. I wasn’t inspired to go out and buy their album but I’ve no doubt that many would have been. And I can’t say they didn’t put on a good show. They didn’t hit the mark for me but I can think of a lot worse ways to pass the time waiting for Kingswood!
Speaking of Kingswood…wow, what a show! Playing all but two songs off their ‘Microscopic Wars’ album and throwing a few from ‘Change of Heart’ into the mix, Kingswood had an energy that spread throughout the venue. ‘ICFTYDLM’ was clearly a crowd favourite, and got everyone singing along. Lead singer Fergus Linacre has an easy and natural onstage manner, and I really love the way he talks to the crowd rather than trying to perform for them in between songs.
‘Eye of the Storm’ is a particular favourite of mine (I’m a sucker for a slow song) and the guys played it to perfection, just as they did all the others. ‘Chronos’ was a good, energetic song to finish on, leaving the crowd in high spirits. (And we’d love to know why the boys spell it ‘Kronos’ on the setlist, if anyone knows?) It’s always good when you go to see a band and they’re just as good live as they are on their album. It’s even better when, like Kingswood, they’re live performance leaves their brilliant album for dust.
So we have just one more thing to say – come back soon, Kingswood! We miss you already.
(See the full gallery here:
words: Claire Watt
photos: Mandy Campbell