Indie darlings Deep Sea Arcade are on an exciting, career defining path. If Wednesday’s packed out showcase is anything to go by, I assume Music Feeds isn’t the only place you’ll be reading, watching or hearing about these hot-tipped Sydney kats over the coming weeks.
Oxford Arts Factory was bursting at the seams as a crowd in excess of 500 jostled to get a glimpse of one of Australia’s most promising young, unsigned acts. There was an omnipresence of industry suit-types amongst members of other prominent Sydney bands, plenty of media, and a strong contingent of enthusiastic, lyric-wise fans who turned out to witness the five-piece bust out their brand of nostalgic psych-folk-rock tunes reminiscent of the 1960s brit/surf rock music culture.
Opening in a relaxed, free form jam, the group established their pace before launching into a rhythmically tight set. A large part of their appeal lies in their blatant but charmingly timeless British aesthetic; from matching pointed leather loafters, crisp white shirts and dapper blazers to the punchy, beatles-esque arrangements. Oozing bravado and down right cool confidence, frontman Nick Mckenzie’s nasal yet surprisingly sultry voice flowed over the crowd like molasses. Later in the set, he manages to make a possibly drunken stumble look perfectly choreographed, darting around the front of the stage with charismatic swagger.
Triple J favourites Don’t Be Sorry and Lonely in Your Arms solicited a good response from the crowd whilst photographers were scramming up the front to take snaps of what is likely to be a band on the eve of national, if not international stardom.
For a group with such a consistent sonic identity, it’s easy to run the risk of producing the same song over again, but it would be foolish to assume that all DSA tunes sound the same. Showing a harder rock side with new single Keep on Walking, the band took it up a notch, proving they’re not just a one-folk-pony. Their musicianship is obvious as the band uses many varying stylistic elements to their advantage; from the tightly woven vocal overlays, to pounding bass lines and soaring, twangy, surf-rock guitar. They even showed that the synthesizer can indeed be a humble instrument and used for good, as opposed to trashy-electro evil.
A petite encore highlighted the brevity of the entire set, a smart move for a late, predominantly industry-based weeknight showcase in an uncomfortably crowded room. It is here they decide to pull out very first single Crouch End, which was unearthed by Triple J in 2008, heralding the band’s foray into the wider Australian music scene. It’s fitting considering after tonight, there’s no doubt that Deep Sea Arcade is definitely a band to watch. With a debut album expected in March 2011 and international touring on the horizon, get into them now whilst you can still get close enough to touch those immaculately polished loafers.