Review: Zulu Winter / Howler / Friends, Corner Hotel, 24th July 2012 -


Review: Zulu Winter / Howler / Friends, Corner Hotel, 24th July 2012

by Zak Hepburn on July 30, 2012

in Live,News,Reviews

A buzz band triple bill at Melbourne’s Corner Hotel provides a sensational Splendor side show experience!



A triple feature indie treat was unleashed on Melbourne as a unique collection of artists appeared for a one night only show, admirably bringing with them a sure fire summer soundtrack to warm the audience in the dead of winter. As the evening was split into three distinct sets, it seems only fitting that the review should reflect this, so without further ado, let’s begin…

 Zulu Winter

Appearing first on the bill Zulu Winter really worked the room, while attendance was in it’s infancy during their early set, the five-piece band of Londoner’s sounded great performing the bulk of material from their debut LP. The band ripped through popular catchy singles ‘We Should Be Swimming’, ‘Silver Tongue’, ‘Let’s Move Back to The Front’ and ‘Never Leave’. However, it was the lesser known songs off the album that proved to be attention worthy with great live renditions of songs such as ‘Key to My Heart’,’Bitter Moon’, ‘Small Piece’ and ‘You Deserve Better’. During the short set there was a brief moment between songs where the band let loose and stretched themselves musically. Iain Lock (bass), Dom Millard (keyboards), Henry Walton (guitar) and Guy Henderson (drums) decided it was their time to shine with effective and evocative solos. A promising introduction to an act that is sure to rise in popularity as their blend of indie rock permeates the radio waves.


Next up were Minneapolis surf punk rockers, Howler. Led on stage by nineteen year-old leader Jordan Gatesmith, Howler have also recently released their debut back in January titled ‘America Give Up’. Thrashing out their album cover to cover the four piece, consisting of the aforementioned Gatesmith’s on lead guitar and vocals, Brent Mayes on drums, Ian Nygaard on guitar, Max Petrek on bass have made a name for themselves with their ear blistering live shows and on-stage antics. Indeed the boys brought a loud, obnoxious garage punk ethos to their 45 minute set. The short sharp jabs of punk rock and surf guitar jangle appeared as audible chaos during their performance their hit single ‘Back of Your Neck’. As a departing act, front standing audience members where invited up on stage to furiously dance with alongside the band. Fueled with late teenage ego and tenacity the group quickly left the stage at the close of the set leaving the now packed auditorium with ear’s still ringing from the audible assault of a Howler live show.


After blazing out of Bushwick in 2011 with two buzz-worthy singles, ‘I’m His Girl’ and ‘Friend Crush’ and a reputation for turning live gigs into spontaneous DIY parties, Brooklyn’s Friends appeared as the final piece in this trinity of future indie idols. Friends’ slinky post-disco take on ‘tropicool’ fronted by the uber-sultry Samantha Urbani came out swinging with one aim, to get the dance floor heaving.

The Brooklynites appeared to be in fine form. Friends present a sound which incorporates the seductiveness of Blondie, the punch of Tom Tom Club, and the funkadelic frenzy of The Jackson 5 and The Rapture. They’re rhythmic, they’re sassy with a hedonistic edge that is pure funk-pop. Playing all tunes off their debut album, Manifest, Friends did not disappoint.

Early on, during the cracking rendition of the single ‘Friend Crush’, Samantha jumped off stage to dance with unsuspecting crowd-goers, which fueled the fire and effectively woke up the audience. Friends gave the crowd a tight, dance inducing hour long set which was easily the highlight of the evening and one that audience members will no doubt savor as the popularity of Friends is sure to explode in the future.


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