Darling James @ The Old Bar, Melbourne (Wed 3 Jun 2015)

went to this 9 years ago

Darling James Ultimatum Talk

​Tonight, Darling James are launching their debut single ‘Ultimatum Talk’ at The Old Bar. ​It’s Wednesday night in Melbourne, on one of the coldest nights we’ve had this year. ​My dashboard thermometer says it’s ​4 degrees outside, ​and when I get out of the car at the pub, ​a chilly wind ​hits me, really mak​ing ​me​ wonder why the hell ​I left ​my heated house​ on a night like this​.

This was my first pub gig since becoming a dad, so I ventured out as late as possible to minimise time away from sleep. Consequently I missed The Mysterious String Theories.

I did however arrive just as Half/Cut took the stage. I’d really like to see this band in a much bigger room. Musically they had the ability to create luscious soundscapes, not unlike a slightly heavier and groovier Portishead or Massive Attack, with a vocalist taking cues from everyone from Alanis Morissette to Dolores O’Riordan​ of The Cranberries.​ ​There were definitely parts that felt far too busy for what I think the band were trying to project, but again, I think that playing such a small room really didn’t help with that.​

The number of Brisbane-ites living in Melbourne is quite staggering, and tonight many emerged from cold woodwork of Melbourne winter to come and see one of their own. So tonight wasn’t just seeing a gig- it was catching up with a bunch of old mates that I never see enough of.

​I’ve known James for years. Various bands we’ve been in over the years have played together more times that I can count, and we’ve also done occasional session work together. He’s a talented bastard- great vocalist and an excellent bass player. James was one of the songwriters in ​The Boat People, but, as far as I’m aware, Darling James is his first outing as principal songwriter.​

​When Darling James hit the stage promptly at 10:30, everyone ​emerged from the nooks and crannies of ​T​he ​O​ld Bar​ to be in the main room, making it quite cozy and warm. It was a fantastic turnout for such a shitty Melbourne week night.

​The last, and only time I’d seen Darling James was about 18 months ago when they did a residency at The Edinburgh Castle Hotel, my local pub. ​ A few of the songs from those shows were in tonights set, but there were a lot of new material as well.​

​I remember hearing Crowded House and The Police influences at those Ed shows. Since then, the depth in song-writing and arrangements​ has grown considerably, with a much more unique sounding band than I saw at the local​.​ It’s still a distinctly ‘indie commercial’ sound, which is a favourite of mine. Musical arrangements with a tip of the hat to bands like The ​National, Mogwai​, and maybe a little Gomez​ as well​​.​ ​

​Tonight was a great show, and I have no doubt that Darling James will be around for many years to come, and playing much bigger venues than The Old Bar.

I’m glad I ventured out of the house for this, and here’s hoping a debut album isn’t too far away.​

Did you see Darling James @ The Old Bar, Melbourne (Wed 3 Jun 2015)? Tell us about it

went to this 9 years ago