King Cannons, Toff In Town, June 21
Peppering its trusty audience with a punk, blues, funk, reggae and soul aesthetic, the mostly born-in-New-Zealand-and-raised-in-Australia, mostly well-inked musical collective that is King Cannons detonate early. Their tracks, taken from debut recording The Brightest Light
, are Strummer/Springsteen-esque anthems driven by penetrating leader Luke Yeoward on rolling vocals and guitar.
Right-hand man Rob Ting does his thing vividly on lead guitar while guest drummer (and the band’s producer) Tom Larkin supplies powerhouse beats. Anthem is the word of the review as each melody plays out like a call to arms, a statement, a revolution, and Yeoward presents like a man truly possessed and one who demands words to become actions.
Splashes of Mikey Ting's keys, soldier-style rhythms and a rousing Johnny O’Keefe vocal dominate on ‘Too Young’, where a quivering, sexualised ‘Too Hot to Handle’ is again steered liberally by Rob Ting's lead. Early on the tunes, while playing out in a smash-and-grab manner, tend to work to a siphoned sound, as if contained by some masked sonic force-field.
Things change quickly and the set evolves into a genuine happening with a prodigious mix rising to help complement the punishing resonances, Yeoward secreting up a storm and needing to towel down after ‘Ride Again’. Counting in the Footloose-meets-E Street Band style of ‘On Our Own’ then the military cadence of power track ‘Stand Right Up’, everything is now in its right place.
Harps and hurricane throbs from Larkin help frame ‘The Cool Change’ while a pastiche of sound again becomes apparent via the organ-drone introduction to the calypso-punk movements of ‘Gasoline’. It’s all short and sharp yet filled with patently more fervour in a live show than this old mug punter has seen all year.
Nothing is forced, nothing is insincere and its testament to where they want this thing to head over both the short trip and the extended voyage. No doubt there are immense things on the horizon, and with such an imposing and contrasting edge to their sound, the world is their musical oyster. Enjoy the shuck.
: Nick Argyriou