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Live Review: Rare Finds 1st Birthday @ Oxford Art Factory

Rare Finds 1st Birthday

Sydney PR agency and record label Rare Finds is secretly doing all the hard work for us. Wading through the mountains of latest EP launches and new indie smashes they select the best of the best for our hearing pleasure. This is what we witnessed at their 1st Birthday celebration at Oxford Arts Factory, a fitting classic venue for fresh faces and local talent. The crowd was mostly a mix of industry, media, photographers, and the musicians themselves along with their close fans. It was surprising there was much room for the general public!

The lineup was showcase of mostly new names, split between the Main Room and the Gallery Bar. For those of you familiar with Oxford Arts Factory you’ll know these as the room with the big stage and the room with the vinyl covered ceiling and the awkwardly small stage. Ross Henry was our first taste of the night. The Bristol import turned Sydney introvert mixes warm electronic loops with an injection of xylophone, acoustic guitar, and soothing vocals (delicious!). We heard The Forrester’s House and were transported into his sweet electronic world broken up by a sneaky acoustic guitar appearance. Pushing a sweaty fringe aside, Henry played a trippy rendition of Mary’s Canary complete with birdcalls hidden amongst the looped layers.

“Drummer Miles Thomas played in a sweaty zebra morph suit even though a dog had bitten off his toe that very day.”

Froth pick of the night, second act Hedge Fund, were racking up the cheeky points in the main room with bad boy William Colvin boxing his way around stage. After overcoming some serious technical difficulties (self proclaimed to be caused by Colvin) they played a great set. Bangers Summer’s Getting Shorter and Boyfriend were particularly catchy. Besides the sweet bass and grungy rock riffs, I was very pleased to hear some great honest spiteful banter. Unreleased tune Picking Flowers is a raw open wound delight, and is apparently “a very sad song about a very boring girl”. Drummer Miles Thomas played in a sweaty zebra morph suit even though a dog had bitten off his toe that very day. Now that’s rock ‘n’ roll!

The rest of the night was set up to be just as sweet. Billy Fox was a cool feel good act, although looked a touch out of place. You is a great raunchy dance number with a sick bass progression, I would love to hear a remix (anyone?). The multi talented loop master Owen Rabbit used props such as a can, a maraca, a plastic gun, a flip phone, and the audience’s voices to create his experimental style trip-fest. Certainly entertaining, and did his entire set sans shoes.

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Rare Finds surprised us with the beautiful alt-pop trio Glades. They literally just started creating music together at the beginning of last year with their debut single Falling Away. Singer Karina Wykes sang with sweet emotion with the wind blowing through her hair. Bubblegum pop tune Her (Lovin you) was a cruisy and lighthearted delight. Drive was an atmospheric melancholy dream, Wykes crooned, “kiss me on the corner with your hand in mine”. Can’t wait for their next installment!

“Keeping up with the trendy political slander, Lime Cordiale took a dig at the Sydney lockout laws with unrecorded an unreleased banger My City.”

Lime Cordiale never cease to impress, and the headliner lived up to the summer alt-pop vibes of recent album ‘Road To Paradise’. The vocals were flawless, switching between the slightly different timbres of the Leimbach brothers, complimented by a touch of trombone on top. They delivered a unique and slightly dark sound with Spider Legs, slow, groovy, and foreboding. Not That Easy was the highlight as the audience agreed and chanted lyrics along to the groovy alt-rock beats. Keeping up with the trendy political slander, Lime Cordiale took a dig at the Sydney lockout laws with unrecorded an unreleased banger My City.

Good Boy is incredibly cute with a loveable melancholy indie sound. Once you’ve heard them you wont be able to get their calm vocals and alt-rock strumming out of your head. We listened to Waste Days or Ease Your Temper and No Love For Back Home, and fell in love with the chillest band out. After both the band and the audience begged the sound guys for another song, Good Boy closed with their debut single Transparency, singing, “Cross my name, I’m out, strike me from your records”. Read our interview with Good Boy HERE

The night closed on a low point with Deep Sea Arcade failing to impress us with their crazy high vocals and stagnant repertoire. Lonely In Your Arms and closing tune Girls were alright, but overall I was disappointed. They came across a bit arrogant, awkward, and boring. When are you going to release some new stuff? For those lucky few who ducked out to the other room, Lily and The Bellows was a bit of jazzy fun who probably should have had a bigger stage.

Cheers Rare Finds and Oxford Arts Factory for a great night, we were glad to be the test audience for some unreleased goodness and definitely can’t wait for your next showcase. In the meantime subscribe to Rare Finds’ playlist on Spotify to keep up with the latest and greatest in undiscovered bliss!