SXSW showcase reviews
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., March 17, 2006
Exodus, Wednesday, March 15It has been, as Karl Wallinger put it, "five, six, seven years" since World Party last visited in America, but this performance made it seem like they'd never left. They were pared down to a trio, with David Duffy on fiddle and mandolin, and John Turnbull on electric guitar, but Wallinger's songs shone with sly folk-pop melodies and sturdy harmonies. After such a long hiatus, Exodus was, as expected, crowded beyond belief, with people leaning over the balcony to glimpse the band, and access to the front of the stage nearly impossible. But the steamy atmosphere seemed to thrill the band as they opened with an energized "Put The Message in the Box." Wallinger was the most personable host, grinning through his tinted shades, joking his way through minor tech glitches, and even entertaining a request for the bittersweet soul of "Love Street." Toward the set's end, they cranked things up a couple of notches with a blazing "Way Down Now" that had the crowd joining in full force on the "woo-hoos." Those who thought this Party was over, found out that the Londoners' amalgam of Beatlesque jangle, trad folk, and blue-eyed soul wasn't only alive but doing very well.