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The Grates Live @ The Hi-Fi, July 1st.

Last Friday night we sent Brendon Rosolen out into the night to discover, first hand, what The Grates had learned from their Secret Rituals in NYC. Read on...

Ambitious is the word I’d use to describe Sydney’s Guineafowl. The first support for The Grates tonight at The Hi-Fi in Brisbane, the six members get the gathering crowd moving with their expansive sound. In Our Circles showcases Guineafowl perfectly as a cohesive musical force, with pitch perfect vocal harmonies, contrasting melodies on guitar and keyboard, they create a wall of sound that is an ego and a good cause away from giving Coldplay a run for their money. Be sure to catch Guineafowl as they play Splendour in the Grass and support Foster the People around the country later this month. With an act as good as Guineafowl as the first support I have high hopes for Melbourne’s Big Scary.

As the two members of Big Scary take the stage they ease in with a down tempo number. As the set progresses the songs flip between slow blues riffs and big, loose, rock-a-thons, and you can see the influence of other 2-piece bands like The White Stripes and The Mess Hass coming through in some parts. While the music is good, the crowd looks less than enthusiastic, it seems like Big Scary are an odd fit between the polished sound of Guineafowl and the highly anticipated Grates.

The stagehands close the curtains and prepare for the arrival of The Grates. I can sense the crowd’s impatience growing as they start cheering and hollering at every little flicker of activity behind the curtain. After what seems like eternity, the time comes and The Grates explode onto stage with crowd favourites, Carve Your Name and Science is Golden. All the while Patience bounces and kicks her way around the stage in a black cape that makes her look like a boxer eager for a fight. They give a taste of the new album with Like You Could Have It All, a slightly darker and more intense song, before turning up the fun levels again with Milk Eyes and 19-20-20. They power through a mix of old and new songs finishing with the new single Turn Me On. Returning for an encore of Trampoline and Aw Yeah.

Much like their new songs, the band has matured considerably, it seems their time in New York was well spent. Despite the dancing, jumping, crowd surfing and general mayhem that she creates on stage, Patience seems calmer and more centred as well. As a result her vocals are a lot stronger and more controlled than they were last time I saw The Grates perform here at The Hi-Fi.

The Grates’ return has been a long time coming, and with the success of their new album, Secret Rituals, and a stronger, more mature live show to go with it, I’m sure they will be around for a long time to come.

See more photos from the gig here, thanks to Markus Ravik.

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