I think some discretion, a warning perhaps, is in order for anyone reading this particular post. My tongue and fingertips are nothing but hyperbolic instruments when it comes to anything related to Australian band Dappled Cities. This could very well reach press release levels of formal, pretentious praise. I’m not an ounce apologetic or willing to hold back, though. Dappled Cities are at once one of Australia’s best talents and sadly one of their most unsung. In a country whose success stories seem to teeter on how sensitive you can make your folk fables, or how well you can imitate Two Door Cinema Club, Dappled Cities shine as a widescreen tour de force of emotion, ambitions and eccentricities. Touring in advance for their fourth album the band still seem largely unknown despite being advocatedhighly by indie success makers Pitchfork. Is this a fault to be had with the monolith of Australian alternative music that is Triple J? That’s an argument for another time. For now, let’s discuss their brilliant performance at their EP Launch at Cobra Kai Club.
Every time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Dappled Cities play live they have brought such an admirable excess of enthusiasm and good vibes that I’ve rarely seen matched by other band, local or international. And Thursday was no different. Frontman Tim Derricourt graces the stage with a fist pump and an excitement that almost matches the legion of loyal fans. The man is simply all smiles. They start the evening with the slow burning new track Weekend, a Tim-led track that suggests a continuation of the grandiose space oddyseys of their third album Zounds, which ends with a noteworthy minute of incredible vocal noodling. The show goes on with a smattering of tracks from albums new and old: glowing anthem The Price, the Wild Beasts inflected Wooden Ships, the broad emotional strokes of stomper Holy Chord. The planned portion of the evening ends with new Dave-led single Run With The Wind; a manic synth frenzy of a song that hits with the visceral intensity of an intergalactic space battle. It finds the audience suitably rabid, chanting and dancing with gusto before clamouring for a much needed encore. The band return to close out the night with fan requested Vision Bell and old gem Peach before sadly leaving the stage for good.
The show is simply a testament to the sheer kaleidoscope of sounds these guys are capable of. Widescreen galactic anthems and Shins inspired pop walk hand in hand over the course of the night, and that’s not even acknowledging their studio work (hyperbole wouldn’t even describe my reaction had they played the staccato chill out Beach Song or the pulp Western closer Stepshadows). It’s also a reminder that Dappled Cities ace in the hole is their refreshing camaraderie. It’s easy to see why so they have such a dedicated base of fans: They take fan requests mid set (Wooden Ships), talk to the crowd with genuine enthusiasm and try their best to entertain with good will. And damn if they don’t succeed. They could be playing to 10, 50, 1000 people and the result would be the same. This is not the sound of a band trying to keep up with current trends or what’s going to take them to the top. This is the sound of one simply trying to make good music and share it with a smile on their faces.
So here’s my request: If Dappled Cities come your way, no excuse should be good enough. Work overtime for the cash, get an extension for that assignment, drink a carton of beer to alleviate your fatigue. Sell your Grandma god willing. Just make sure you get out there and show your support for one of Australia’s best bands.
And finally, here’s a little video I took of the proceedings. I am no camera operating man guy but sounds and visuals are both thankfully included in ample doses: