‘Alaska’ is the latest single from Melbourne’s Animaux (pronounced an-ee-mo) produced by John Castle and Rosce James Irwin (The Cat Empire). The band of seven know how to pull a crowd, after countless packed out residences at The Evelyn over the past year or so. Tonight’s gig was no exception, with the band comfortably selling out The Workers Club a week before the show. Come 9pm, bodies’ filled the band room to its stylishly exposed wooden rafters, and there was a distinct feeling of relaxed excitement among the masses.
Supporting acts included self-proclaimed ‘progressive cosmic soul’ band Ghost Orkid, and eight-piece folk troupe Velma Grove. There was a bit of a sad vein through Velma Groves set, as it was the last show for a few members of the band. Nonetheless, the optimistic bunch played songs from their debut album, Older, with enthusiasm. The lush vocal harmonies they produce live are beautiful, led by vocalist and banjo player, Maxie Roberts, with an Angus Stone-esque tone.
Animaux hit the stage and BAM, a huge force field of happy sounds filled the room for the solid hour-long set. You couldn’t help but be taken along for the ride with the boppy, carnival-sounding sax and trumpet interaction on ska soaked ‘Paradise’ and the popular ‘Lie To Me’ and ‘Wave Of Change’ had fans singing along. Mid-set they covered American sisters, Haim with a gutsier version of ‘The Wire’.
Animuax’s infectious tunes had people crowd surfing, jumping on mates’ shoulders, and dancing uncontrollably. They ended their set with the new single ‘Alaska’ featuring the best percussion instrument going round, the cowbell. Before coming back for more in an encore shortly after, they rounded up the night with a huge rendition of ‘Questions & Exclamation Marks’. With members of Velma Grove and the audience jumping up on the tiny stage and playing whatever instruments they could find, or just dancing along with them.
After the euphoric set, Animaux, Velma Grove and Ghost Orkid members mingled with punters and friends, while most just headed to the bar to rehydrate.
Animaux launch their EP Vale Street at The Northcote Social Club on December 5th with Albert Salt, and are also playing at this years Inca Roads Music Festival, Nov 29 – Dec 1.