Gelbison

SXSW Live Shots

SXSW Live Shots
Photo By Gary Miller

Gelbison

The Drink, Thursday, March 18 A young quintet from Sydney, Australia, Gelbison might not have earned the prefestival buzz that some of the other bands from Down Under have. But after this gutsy performance, they might generate talk of their own next time they come to America. Starting with a deep rumble, they showed off brotherly harmonies and crisp ensemble play. By varying tempos and using keyboards in a sprite, understated way, Gelbison explored some interesting terrain. From Radiohead-sized electronica to Lennon-influenced acoustic anthems to full-on power pop, it was all done with hooks and melodies to spare. A highlight was "Summer of Love," a jangly piece of psychedelic fluff that melded Robyn Hitchcock with Paul Kelly, both breezy and radiant. Toward the end of the set, lead singer Edo had problems with his acoustic guitar and proceeded to sing solo, unplugged. A courageous move in a place where most of the assembled – and there was an impressive audience at this point – had come to schmooze. He quieted most of them with a crafty, scruffy love song that had the young women crowded up front, glassy-eyed and smiling. Closing with a piece that slowly builds into thunder was not a new trick, but it never once seemed affected. These guys meant every note, and the sweat on their brows at set's end proved it.

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