Rufus and Elizabeth Rose, Northcote Social Club – 17/08/2012

Written by Fletcher Diamantis on August 20, 2012

Heading along to the Northcote Social Club is always a bit of a trek for me. Not having a car and relying on public transport to get everywhere I need to, there isn’t really a direct line to get out there. It’s a bit of a first-world problem, but I don’t normally hit up the gigs out there because it’s too much effort.

Thank God I made the effort for Rufus.

I don’t know why these guys aren’t a household name, because they are currently putting out some of the best indie-dance music around and they have a killer live show to back it up. Since the release of their debut EP last year, Rufus have been flooding dance floors and clubs alike with catchy synth pop tunes that got them recognised internationally.

Whilst Elizabeth Rose and Super Magic Hats started off the night formidably with their kooky pop tunes, the crowd really started to get going when Rufus opened with their first major single, Paris Collides. The xx-esque tune left the crowd in hysterics when the simple synth line that opens it began to build and swell. The set continued with early hits when the band leapt into We Left, the crowd chanting out the resounding title of the track for most of the song.

What it was that impressed me so much about this band was the manner in which they carried themselves. They’re not huge yet, they know it too, but they don’t let that hold them back on stage. Frontman Jon George wasn’t afraid of getting amongst the drums whilst allowing his stage presence to speak for itself. The band’s set-up was reminiscent of Foster the People, with no single musician sticking to one instrument for the whole night, rather each member displayed their talent as a multi-instrumentalist.

Of particular note, was a cover of a Gotye track that Rufus threw into their set. It wasn’t what you’re thinking either, they actually took a track from his second release Like Drawing Blood called Hearts a Mess. Their tranced, synthpop take on the hit track was faithful to the original whilst displaying some real creativity from the Sydney-based boys. A duet with support act Elizabeth Rose was lovely, it was the encore that really got the crowd moving.

Rufus returned to play two more tracks before departing the Northcote. Droplets was a return to the Gotye and The xx-infused tracks, which turned the crowd into a dance floor. It was the dubstep breaks that got everyone moving though. I don’t often hear dubstep done well, but if there was a band to change this it’s Rufus. I’ve never heard harmonica used well, if at all, in a dance track either, but Rufus did it with their final song for the night. Closing with new track Talk to Me, Rufus solidified their place in my music repertoire.

Needless to say, after this gig, I’ll make the trek to the Northcote Social Club more often.

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