Last night Tash and I met at The Evelyn for the first night of Institut Polaire's residency. The first band for the evening was one of our favorite new Melbourne bands The Good China. They were down one member, but considering that meant there were still 8 people on stage you really didn't notice. There was already a decent sized crowd to see them, and they put on another energetic set of their uplifting songs.
The next band was The Summer Cats. Their set was one of the more bizarre ones I have ever seen. The whole thing felt like an indie band comedy skit with their intros and songs. Imagine an indie Mr G as the lead singer and you may have some idea of what we witnessed. It was just awkward.
Third on the bill was Seagull, who came on stage and played their whole set without introducing themselves once. A throwback to the best UK shoegaze bands, their atmospheric songs were both beautiful and confronting. Lead singer Chris Bolton used a looping petal on his guitar to build sonic soundscapes and his delicate vocals made the whole thing a bit of an abstract artistic statement. Seagull are definitely an interesting band and one to watch.
Finally it was time for the headliners Institut Polaire. Originally from Perth, all eight members of this musical collective have recently relocated to Melbourne. Their set consisted of songs from their first EP and the new album they are currently recording. "City Walls and Empires" was a definite highlight, and their music follows in the tradition of many great Australian pop bands.