Cub Scouts were the final act of an amazing day at 4 Walls Festival. They took to the stage fresh from their Paradise EP launch the day before. The gathered crowd were no less enthusiastic for having spent the entire day meandering between stages and Cub Scouts repaid this in kind.
The multi-coloured lights bathing the stage seemed ideal for the paradise theme, with strategically placed blow up palm trees and flamingos dotting the stage. The Main Stage was more than wide enough to accommodate the five piece, with the two keyboardists and guitarist off the left, leaving the stage looking a bit unbalanced. Maybe I’m just sucky because I ended up off to the right.
After listening to their recorded music, I was wondering how they would unite the two keys melodies live, without them conflicting with each other. Particularly as both Tim Nelson and Sam Netterfield used the same Nord keys. It was a vain worry, as I could clearly pick out the two, with Sam tending to play the higher, punchier melodies of songs with cool exaggerated hand movements.
I remember him playing a tambourine by hitting it on top of his keyboard, whilst still playing the bass notes on his keyboard with the other hand; a sort of musical version of rubbing your belly and patting your head at the same time. No Cub Scout recording does Tim’s voice justice, because live it is it just incredibly smooth and hypnotic. His voice doesn’t sound strong because it’s high and silky, but yet somehow it is, and boy can he push it to those high notes. The band nailed the harmonies when they sang together, underscoring that distinctive Cub Scouts sound.
Cub Scouts smashed out their repertoire of old favorites intermingled with offerings from Paradise. ‘Told You So’ was especially wonderful to experience. It had heavy accents and keyboard melodies that make you feel like you’re at a fairground, and there was a fun little bass slide to end the song from Zoe Davis.
‘Paradise’ was everything I expected it to be and had the whole front section of the audience jiving along. It wasn’t quite as popular as Cub Scouts classic ‘Evie’, which generated a huge cheers when Tim announced it. But for me, the best, guiltiest moment of their set was the band breaking into a Destiny’s Child/Beyonce medley, a dip back into childhood. Surely most of the young crowd could not remember these songs being released, being pre-schoolers at the time. But as Tim went into full on diva mode, people were shouting the lyrics back, and man did he pull it off. Well played Cub Scouts, well played.
You can follow Cub Scouts on Facebook and Twitter, check out Paradise on iTunes (and the review here), and watch some Beyonce medley homage here (audio quality is not the best – go see them live instead).
Cub Scouts are on tour from BIGSOUND onwards:
Wednesday 11 Sept: Bigsound 2013, Brisbane
Thursday 12 Sept: Spotted Cow, Toowoomba*
Friday 13 Sept: The Hi-Fi, Brisbane*
Saturday 14 Sept: Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast*
Wednesday 18 Sept: ANU, Canberra*
Thursday 19 Sept: Uni Bar, Wollongong*
Friday 20 Sept: Cambridge, Newcastle*
Saturday 21 Sept: The Metro, Sydney [ALL AGES]*
Wednesday 25 Sept: Loft, Warrnambool*
Thursday 26 Sept: Barwon Club, Geelong*
Friday 27 Sept: Forum, Melbourne*
Saturday 28 Sept: Karova, Ballarat*
Thursday 3 Oct: Adelaide Uni Bar, Adelaide [ALL AGES]*
Friday 4 Oct: Settlers Tavern, Margaret River*
Saturday 5 Oct: The Astor, Perth [ALL AGES]*
Sunday 6 Oct: Prince Of Wales, Bunbury*
*JINJA SAFARI, THE BAY OF FIRES TOUR