Os Mutantes

on 15 March 2011 in Gig Reviews


Os Mutantes

Performing on 9th March 2011 @ The Enmore Theatre

It’s always nice when nice guys do well and Richard In Your Mind are some of the nicest guys around. Following their recent Australian Music Prize nomination, you would hope that opening for Os Mutantes might be a slight consolation. You can hear the influence of the Brazilian group all over RIYM’s music. The tempo changes, the irreverent lyrics, the sunny disposition; it all owes something to the headliner in some way. For a band you’d usually see at smaller venues, they certainly looked comfortable on the Enmore stage. The sound was also full and not lacking in any way.

Bands like Best Coast are a bit of mystery, really. Of their entire set, there was really only one track that didn’t sound exactly the same from the rest of them. There were various points in the set where one wondered if it was a new song or just a gap in the previous song. They sound nice enough (in a way they’re a bit like a C86 band) but a full 50 minutes of nothing much different was tiresome. A 20 minute set might have been OK. You have to wonder, if Best Coast were a local Australian band, would they be garnering as much attention and acclaim or, indeed, any at all? If someone can justify why they’re so good without mentioning how attractive Bethany is, please come forth.

Seminal doesn’t even really begin to describe Os Mutantes. Booed and threatened in their homeland during their original tenure, the band’s mixture of samba, bossa nova, psychedelia and rock has garnered cult status in the intervening years. On their first visit to Australia, the audience is an eclectic mix of South American ex-pats and music nerds. Arriving on-stage in their colourful costumes, their appearance was warmly greeted. The eclectic set featured tracks from throughout their career, including from their comeback album, 2009’s Haih Or Amortecedor.

Even though there is now only two members remaining in the band from their halcyon days (singer/guitarist Sergio Dias and drummer Dinho Leme), the group of ever-smiling musicians managed to capture the spirit and fun of tracks like A Minha Menina and Bat Macumba. The cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps – particularly Dias’ ripping guitar solo – was a major surprise.

Os Mutantes continue to inspire musicians all over the world. It’s pleasing that, after all these years, they get to feel the love.

- Michael Hartt


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