Voltaire Twins, September 14th 2012 @ The Grace Darling

Thomas Bailey on 18 September 2012 in Gig Reviews


Voltaire Twins

Celebrating the release of their third EP Apollo, Perth synth darlings Voltaire Twins brought their elegant and animalistic act to Collingwood’s Grace Darling Hotel on a Friday night – and the results were nothing short of electric.

Along for the ride were Solaires and Soccer Legends, two Melbourne electronica acts that nicely dovetailed with the Twins’ special brand of pop.

First up was Soccer Legends, a trio of blokes huddled in front of keyboards and sequencers, launching their EP Signals. Ebullient and energetic, they deftly cross-pollinated Italo-disco rhythms with the heavy-duty EBM (that’s Electronic Body Music genrespotters) of bands such as Nitzer Ebb and Front Line Assembly.

Vocal distortion was in heavy use, causing the vocals to shift from aggro and mean to angelic and cheerleader-esque. These were some pretty primal sounds on offer, and Solaires were a very pleasant discovery.

Next up was one third of Solaires, a local band with big sounds and big ideas. Delivering spacy and disjointed electronic soundscapes of icy ambient noise, the solitary dude behind the synthesizer and drum machine created some pretty damn impressive trance-drone. It was a ride the  crowd were only too happy to take.

Jaymes and Tegan Voltaire, the impossibly beautiful fraternal twins who make up the singing half of Voltaire Twins have made it a habit of theirs to conjure a species of pop confectionary that, while borrowing liberally from such luminaries as Depeche Mode and Ladytron, still manages to create a niche all their own. Both slick and tribal, their songs of love, lust and feral urges exhibit such an inherent sexuality, one can almost smell the pheromones in the air.

They kicked things off with the grooving “Silhouettes”, and set the tone for the rest of their nine song set that touched on all three of their EPs. “Light Fears” was suitably sleazy and dirty, exhibiting a frothy display of Eurotrash goodness. “Solaris” (the video for which was famously yanked from YouTube because of its liberal nudity) was sleek and focused – and got the audience well and truly dancing. No nubile youths, however, waltzed onto the stage in their birthday suits.

“Island Talk”, a lovely track inspired by William Golding’s classic novel Lord Of The Flies, harkened back to Depeche Mode’s Construction Time Again, whilst “Jump Cuts” featured a dazzling barrage of heavy-duty, militaristic percussion courtesy of their fabulous drummer.

Fun, passionate and engaging, this was a very cool show. During a weekend that saw both the Fremantle Dockers and the West Coast Eagles crash in flames in the AFL Semifinals, it was awfully nice to see someone from Western Australia tick one into the win column.

-Thomas Bailey


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