The Jungle Giants at 170 Russell, Melbourne, Sunday April 15, 2018.
All photographs by Tim Lambert.
Heading towards the end of their Used To Be In Love Tour, Brisbane four-piece The Jungle Giants were back in Melbourne for their second of three sold-out shows.
Up-and-coming indie kid Evan Klar opened proceedings, showing exactly why he was signed to behemoth label EMI/Dew Process after just two highly acclaimed BIGSOUND showcases. STACK favourite Alice Ivy – whose endless energy knows no bounds – was up next, cutting a lone-but-not-lonely figure on stage, as she bounced around to hits Chasing Stars and Get Me A Drink with her hometown crowd. (Have a geez of our interview with the electronica artist here, and read Our Jeff’s review of new album I’m Dreaming here.)
And then, The Jungle Giants. Sam Hales (vocals/guitar), Cesira Aitken (guitar), Andrew Dooris (bass) and Keelan Bijker (drums) have come a long way since the first time I saw them opening for San Cisco back in 2013. As they entered the stage you couldn’t help but feel proud – those four awkward kids are gone, and we’re left with legitimate rock stars.
They kicked off their 90-minute set with On Your Way Down and early track She’s A Riot, and the stamina never faltered from there. Hales’ and Dooris’ spirits were relentless at front-of-stage, as they powered through their 14-track setlist with little break between songs for chit-chat. Bona fide shredlord Aitken was the best I’ve ever seen her over the years – now fully established as one of the country’s leading guitarists. By the time the opening moments of favourite Quiet Ferocity started, I had an epiphany: The Jungle Giants are becoming Australia’s LCD Soundsystem, sans the cowbell – well, for this song, anyway.
As soon as Hales had finished chugging a fresh tinnie to fuel his pedal board artistry, the band rounded out their main set with Bad Dreams and Used To Be In Love, before a brief intermission and an inevitable encore. Like the confident headliners they have become, the group strutted back on-stage as the crowd’s shouts peaked, fists raised in the air, and ensured their audience squeezed every last drop out of final tracks People Always Say and Feel The Way I Do, unaware of any impending Monday morning doom.
Quiet Ferocity by The Jungle Giants is out now via Amplifire.