Gig review: Seekae, Metro Theatre, 20/8/2011

Occasionally you get a left-of-field support act that reminds you that you can think outside the box and still be entertaining.

Drummer Lawrence Pike was such, defying the odds of overblown drum solos with a set that built incrementally in fervor and pace, with only himself and his kit at hand.

By contrast, The Laurels blasted the room with swirling, buoyant noise. Luke O’Farrell was the eternal shapeshifter, thrashing to and from amp with limb-breaking energy, sharing vocal duties with the ever-serene Piers Cornelius. Anyone who dares question Kate Wilson as the finest female drummer in town probably hasn’t seen her owning the stage as she did on this night, playing percussion adhesive on tunes like Black Cathedral and What She Does To Me.

Seekae are teetering on the brink of something massive. They’re no strangers to sell-out shows; it was barely four months ago that they sold out Manning Bar. Playing to another packed out crowd, the charged vibe was palpable. The curtain gave way to a smoke-filled stage and three silhouettes, but then nothing. Technical difficulties halted the yet to begin show briefly, with the band losing some of their mystique in the midst. Once the technical hurdle was surpassed, the show played out as anyone might expect.

Loud, pulsing beats bounced off the steel walls, the audience became a synchronised sea of hunches, nodding in time, and the gorgeous melodies of songs like Void became Saturday night anthems.

The difference between Seekae’s new, atmospheric tunes versus their Nintendo-bleep past could be jarring but the transitions were matched with finesse, as the three gents on stage took to their business with minimal banter but grins wide on their faces.

Meanwhile, tracks off of this year’s +Dome received the biggest cheers, from Blood Bank to the title track. Yodal’s grinding synth sample gave way to a squirming dancefloor but it was the deceptive calm of 3 that elicited cheers as it grew from disparate beats into bass heavy thumper.

Seekae are a true credit to the Sydney electronica scene. Striking a middle ground between dancefloor filler and ambient tunes, one can only hope that the sell-out crowds will become bigger and broader as time goes on.

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