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The Babe Rainbow w/ Bananagun & Parsnip @ The Lansdowne Hotel – 11.08.2017

Following its resurrection earlier this year, The Lansdowne has seen some of Australia’s most talented artists pass through its door. From The Delta Riggs to Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever, Chippendale’s local scene has come alive once more. With two back-to-back sold out performances, The Babe Rainbow brought their signature sound to Sydney with the help of their supports, Bananagun and Parsnip.

Decked out in an enviable vintage wardrobe and matching haircuts, Parsnip emerged from backstage after a lengthy delay. Dwarfed by the stage greenery, the Melbourne four-piece kicked off their set with Aviator. With a distinct seventies flair and an animated stage presence, it was easy to see why Parsnip had been chosen as tour supports for The Babe Rainbow. While their bouncy, brit-pop vibes went down well with the audience, it was hard to ignore the disarray and pitch issues throughout the set. Don’t get me wrong, I love vintage synths and poignant lyrics as much as the next person, but I can’t help but feel that Parsnip are capable of far more than they let on.

Following on from their Melbourne counterparts, Bananagun took to the stage with a hoard of special guests. Opening their set with Perfect Strangers, the band’s jazzy-fresh sound was truly something to behold. Joining them on stage were the ‘Vegetable Percussionists’, or better known as the girls from Parsnip and half of The Babe Rainbow. It is with great certainty that I say, that I’ve never seen a more outrageous, or energetic percussion group in my life. The only issue that presented itself throughout the set was the incessant yelling and commentary from the on stage ring-ins; it gets a little difficult to focus on the music when the percussion mic is hollering in your ears.

It was great to see such a high energy set filled with catchy hooks, subtle melodies and audience participation. Tracks like Ban-go the Bong-goes and Top Cat went down well with the building crowd; I’m sure that there would have been some spectacular dancing had there been the space. With an album release on the cards, be sure to keep an eye on these guys if you love all things funk.

By the time that The Babe Rainbow finally emerged from the greenroom, the entire show was running behind by about half an hour. The crowd seemed a little weary, but with a packed room it was hard not to get swept up in the excitement of it all. Opening their set with crowd favourite Love Forever, The Babe Rainbow reminded everyone of what they’ve been missing in their lives. As to be expected, the five-piece delivered a very charismatic performance, with the addition of the Vegetable Percussionists (Bananagum and Parsnip). For such a mellow show, the crowd was uncharacteristically rough. More than once, the band members had to remind the audience to respect one another and to chill out; at one point even calling out punters smoking weed in the crowd.

For anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing The Babe Rainbow live before, you would be right in assuming that Saturday might have been a bit of an off night. Disjointed and a little scattered, the band seemed to have been caught off guard by the raucous crowd. As far as their latest self-titled album goes, The Babe Rainbow have prompted a seventies resurgence, in the best possible way. It was pretty surreal finally being able to hear their newest tracks live and local, even if it meant battling the crowd for a glimpse of the band. Here’s hoping that they come back soon, two shows weren’t nearly enough.