It’s always a treat when Kingswood are in town. The three piece have been on a stacked national tour following the release of their sophomore album After Hours, Close To Dawn, bringing their new soulful sound and delivering a visually and sonically spectacular live show to their adoring fans.
Sydney’s Metro Theatre was abuzz with excitement and happy vibes- the Kingswood guys are nice blokes, and it seems they attract nice folks. Fans of all ages packed in and were warmed up by Hobart native Maddy Jane, who captivated the room with a sound that was bigger than seemed possible coming from just her and her guitar. Running through her original songs and a sweet cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’, Maddy seemed as stoked to be there as the crowd was to host her enriching indie pop sound.
Next up was Brisbane alt-rock outfit Waax; vibe curators who rose above and beyond the task of riling up the crowd with their explosive heavy sound. Frontwoman Marie DeVita was an absolute delight to watch from the moment she stormed on stage. Their energetic set included new track ‘Same Same’ and a cover of Julia Jacklin’s ‘Pool Party’.
Anticipation built, the audience uniting for spirited sing-alongs of Daryl Braithwaite, John Farnham and Queen. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was interrupted as everyone braced to scream “FOR MEEEEE” by Kingswood themselves, who filed out, complete with backing singers and a horns section.
They kicked off with album opener ‘Looking For Love’, singer Fergus Linacre serenading the room with his distinctive crooning vocals. It seemed almost as though the venue couldn’t contain their huge sound- the soaring harmonies, Kingswood’s speciality, were consistent throughout the show and larger than life.
It was hard to tell who between the crowd and the band were having a better time as they sailed through the entirety of After Hours, Close To Dawn with finely polished finesse topped off with a sense of spontaneity and rapturous fun. Their velvety single ‘Golden’ dripped with the sultry, soulful sound that encapsulates the album, their most experimental work to date.
The only thing that could have outshone Linacre’s vocals, those tight harmonies (seriously guys, those harmonies) and lead guitarist Alex Laska’s stunning solos was the outstanding light show happening behind them. The room was blasted with vivid colours for each track, matching the moods of the songs and elevating the performance into the realm of spectacular.
The party had well and truly picked up by the time the thumping drums of ‘ICFTYDLM’ arrived, the room screaming the titular chorus back at the band, who were having the time of their lives, which they mentioned several times, citing their Sydney shows as always being the best of the bunch.
And Sydney was equally charmed; their hit ‘Ohio’ was met with a deafening roar as they attempted Linacre’s signature falsetto- he even shared the mic with keen front rowers.
As the show came to a close, Linacre took the time to speak out against Sydney’s Lockout Laws, using an array of colourful curse words to describe the current scape of Sydney nightlife- needless to say this was well received. He also shouted out their “brothers”, Sticky Fingers, members of which were in the audience, and of course, both Linacre and Laska were tasked by a chanting crowd to do an obligatory shoey- from a filthy looking sneaker.
They closed with their Hottest 100 charting single ‘Creepin’ to wildly enthusiastic reception. The boys went out in a blaze of glory, leaving fans astounded by their effortless-seeming affinity for mind-blowing live shows.
Kingswood have proven once again they are a force to be reckoned with on the Australian music scene, following up an experimental but extremely well-rounded album with a fantastic supporting tour that is a must see for music lovers.