Originally a solo project for front man Michael Fuhrman, I think it’s safe to say the universe had other things in mind for the talented performer, with fate bringing together these four diverse musicians to create what we now know as Of The Nations. The result? A dynamic four piece who are set to transform the current rock scene. Since forming in late 2012, OTN have been hitting up live venues around Queensland. Their headlining show at The Zoo on December 12th marked the official release of their new name, along with their new single ‘Hey It’s Gonna Be Alright’. Special guests REAL//TALKS and Jarrah & The Lionhearts made for an eclectic array of local talent.
Gold Coast’s seven piece indie band REAL//TALKS were first on for the night, and heads instantly began to turn. Playing for the first time at The Zoo, the eccentric looking mix of musos (everything from a guy with a fro in a suit, to loud button-up shirts and bed hair), seemed to perform so effortlessly. They executed a perfect balance of catchy indie riffs and intriguing lyrics, though I think the powerful vocals of front man Aldo Thomas is what brings the whole band together. They began with a few laid back tracks before getting into the ‘fun stuff’, and as the tempo picked up so did the energy throughout the entire venue. Their tracks, such as ‘She Knows’ and ‘Liars’, definitely have a summer vibe and an engaging demeanor, and the band delivered them with a lively performance.
I overheard something interesting during their set which I think not only deserves a mention, but can be a lesson to all of us. Of The Nations’ bassist said to his friend something along the lines of, “some people said they’ll rock up just before we go on at 10PM, but they don’t know what they’re missing out on, these guys are sick!” The lesson to learn here is to never underestimate the quality of supporting acts and special guests. Although they may not be headlining the night, their talent is undeniable and you risk missing some amazing acts if you only turn up in time for the main band. In other news, REAL//TALKS have an EP coming out in February and I am beyond excited, stay tuned.
Performing for the second time with Of The Nations this year, Jarrah & The Lionhearts were next to take to the stage. The alternative folk/indie rock foursome encompass a combination of strong beats, driving acoustic strums and the heartfelt story-telling of Jarrah’s lyrics. The band performed tracks such as ‘Postcard’ and ‘When I Was 10’ which both feature on their debut EP, Sunrise, which was released in July. The only thing I can fault with the band’s performance was that at times there seemed to be no emotion coming from any of the members, almost as if they were either scared or bored; and it wasn’t until the last few songs that they seemed to relax, smile, and interact with their audience. Looking past that however, you can’t help to be captivated by Jarrah’s lyrics, with each track telling a carefully crafted story. Jarrah executes her vocals effortlessly, conveying her messages through warm, tranquil tones.
Then finally, the most anticipated act of the night – Of The Nations. The moment the boys stepped on stage they were greeted with applause and screams before they’d even opened their mouths or played a note, and the cheering only escalated after bassist Tom Swinton introduced the band. The energy both on stage and throughout the venue was amplified dramatically, a much welcomed change of pace for the night. They debuted an almost entirely new set, including their new single ‘Hey, It’s Gonna Be Alright’ which is now available on iTunes. I’d recommend downloading it even if only for the beautiful piano solo at the end; it was so mesmerising you could’ve heard a pin drop.
It’s difficult to tag OTN with a genre, with “modern day rock with an acoustic flair” being the only description that comes to mind. Though most of their set was upbeat, the boys did slow it down for a few tracks. ‘Little Soldier’ was much more stripped back, featuring an acoustic guitar, cajon drum and once again those killer harmonies. Michael explained that the track was about a loved one who is like the little soldier in your life; that special person that does everything for you (or the love you share with an electric fan, he joked). The boys had the crowd waving their phones in the dark room, of which Michael took a visual picture and described as a ‘glorious’ sight. I’m a sucker for acoustic tracks with husky vocals and touching lyrics, so this was among my personal standouts of the night.
Although still a relatively new group, the foursome appear as though they’ve been performing together for years. Every aspect of their production fuses together seamlessly; a flawless combination of intricate lyricism, detailed musical composition, powerful vocals complimented by divine harmonies, and above all a level of stage presence that can not be taught.
The set ended with a trio of vocals and a massive instrumental climax, with screams of encores and applause echoing throughout the venue. This was an absolutely amazing live set and it’s going to be exciting to see just where Of The Nations take it from here. Be sure to check out their website for all the latest news.