Shadows on Blue
@ The Toff in Town
Shadows on Blue, ordinarily a five piece, stripped themselves down to a duo for their 'National Acoustic Tour', radically reworking their songs to cope with the reduced participants. For Melbourne, they cynically and accurately chose to folk it right up.
Their acoustic sound made me think very strongly of Mumford and Sons minus the banjos and double bass. The arrangements were clear, uncluttered and effortlessly beautiful whilst still retaining a driving beat and some wonderful melodies. Although there were some parts where percussion would have just made it go from great to killer, I never felt like they were missing a full band.
Shadows on Blue didn't have any filler songs. Each song was interesting and compelling in it's own right. My favourite was their finale song and album single, "Hold On". It was anthem-worthy and characteristic of their general sound. It made me want to hug the person next to me.
Colin, a compelling bearded Scotsman, has just enough natural grit in his voice to make it interesting without taking away from the smoothness of his tone. And Dave, the tech-geek, spiced up the songs with the cutest little synth, in addition to being a really solid guitar player and singer. The Northern Territory lads showed a tremendous amount of musicianship. They were technically spot on; you have mistaken them for musical machines with great big hearts.
Shadows on Blue are a band of story-tellers, they made me really care about the people of Alice Springs and admire the sentiment of why they play music together - to bring together the lost and out of place in a small community. They made me want to travel to distant lands (or at least Alice Springs). Their music had real heart, soul and presence.
Awesome: The genuine heart that they portray.
Ordinary: Australia, for being so inconvenient for full band touring.
Tasty: Tempranillo, the cheapest on the wine list.