Riding up to the Ainslie Arts Centre, Spike Vincent cuts through the cold night air, with the stage lights glowing out. Spike Vincent came in as a little bit of an unknown quantity, but his set delivered in spades. Vincent stood and delivered laidback guitar pop, a little catchy, a little aloof.
Since Purple Skies, Toxic River and its associated tours TV Colours’ shows have been infrequent at best. This set, performed solo as TVCR, eschewed Purple Skies and instead focused on newer material, although many in the crowd will have heard some of the tracks before. The basic appeal of TVCR remains – layers of riffs sounding transported from decades ago, the constant drum machine glow and Bobby Kill’s distinctive vocal delivery. It feels like he is working towards something good, but still working.
Frontman Carey Paterson paused during the Thunderbolt set, and stated that the gig is a bit like being in a school play. It’s not far from the mark – Ainslie Arts Centre was a school back in the day. Thunderbolt have added a member since their year off but they certainly haven’t lost pace. During their set, Thunderbolt combined retro rock touches with deft delivery. Although the old school hall doesn’t generally lean to out of school rock, Thunderbolt managed to pull it off nonetheless.
Most of Angie’s previous work has been “electric”, but her latest solo work takes a different tact. Seated behind a grand piano off stage, Angie took control, starting slowly but building a grain of sound. These weren’t grand flights of classical fancy, but instead engaging tunes that sat somewhere in the ether between the worlds of indie, pop and rock. In conjunction with the projected images, the sounds created a near hypnotic vibe throughout the set. This might have been a sit down set, but it wasn’t a boring one by any stretch of the imagination – instead one of the more compelling sets in Canberra this year.