An intimate crowd was exposed to a serious dose of indie rock from Brisbane duo An Horse.
Returning to the Corner Hotel in support of their acclaimed 2011 album Walls, lead vocalist and guitarist Kate Cooper and drummer/vocalist Damon Cox have endured a relentless tour schedule through Australia, Europe, and North America over the last few years – even appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman performing their punchy lovelorn rocker ‘Camp Out’, the opening track from their 2009 LP Rearrange Beds.
The duo’s brand of Sonic Youth-inspired buzzy guitar pop is more hyper and gripping than ever before. Cooper’s swirling guitar cords punctuated by Cox’s disciplined drumming creates a texture that includes indie rock, shoegaze and dream pop.
It often defies logic that such a rich sound is being created by only two musicians, with Cooper’s fragile voice rising above the chaotic soundscape and closing out the whole experience. The end result is unabashedly enjoyable indie-rock, enhanced by the evidence that Cooper and Cox appear to be generally having a blast on stage.
Cooper and Cox’s on stage rapport doesn’t end there; the duo’s between-song banter proving the creative partnership goes beyond their music. Cooper relays amusing, rambling stories of life on the road as Cox acts as an amusing straight man of sorts….it’s a double act that works remarkably well and really connects with the crowd. A group of fans front and centre even threw paper airplanes on stage, Cooper admitting that “We prefer paper planes to underwear, actually” – it’s that sort of endearing humour that really makes an An Horse show, and their music, a truly engaging experience.
The set featured a good selection of new material off Walls, in addition to fan favourite tracks from Rearranged Bed, including great renditions of the disenchanted anthemic ‘Postcards’ and the listless slow-burner ‘Little Lungs’. The hour-long set was punchy and breezy (not as breezy as the Corner Hotel’s air conditioning unit – but that’s a story for another time…).
An Horse provide a rapturous evolution in the indie rock scene, never falling into clichéd or false sentiments – Cooper and Cox present a set that balances indie pop fundamentals alongside genuinely emotive lyrics.