The Jungle Giants smashed out an absolute killer set at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne last night at the sell out launch of their new single I Am What You Want Me To Be. A line of eager fans snaked right around the corner of the venue, as it does on its sell-out nights, and punters entered to absolutely rocking sets by Melbourne 5-piece Dirt Farmer and City Riots from Adelaide.
The crowd was what you would expect, demographic-wise – mainly 20-somethings with cool hair and skinny jeans – and provided no shortage of interesting characters keen to lose themselves in The Jungle Giants’ famously energetic set. The crowd started to get slightly impatient nearing 11pm and even starting chanting for the band, who eventually swooped on stage, picked up their gear and started what was to be an hour of non-stop head-bouncing, body-jiggling and amazingly fun indie-pop, opening with You’ve Got Something from their 2012 EP She’s A Riot.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Sam Hales‘ youthful vocals are so unique and fits their catchy pop sound like no other could; it’s unmistakable. Sam’s relaxed presence lends itself to an immediate rapport with the audience, at one stage sharing his glass of red with a punter down the front. Lead guitarist Cesira Aitken was almost channeling a girlie Angus Young, with an outfit Sam said made her look like a cheerleader, but honestly you know every girl in that crowd would be on the hunt for a college-style jock jacket down Brunswick Street the next day. Her effortless trendiness, coupled with her effortless skill on that guitar, just cements her cool-as-a-cucumber onstage persona.
The Jungle Giants played nearly every one of their most-loved tracks from both EPs, the aforementioned She’s A Riot and their debut self-titled from 2011. Mr Polite from the latter was a definite crowd pleaser, with Keelan bashing those skins and Andrew bouncing about like a jumping bean on stage while keeping his bass sounding perfect; it would have been absolutely impossible not to move your body like a crazy person and crash into the people surrounding you. And the jump-inducing hits just kept coming; this gig was one crazy aerobics class for those watching. The night ended with the band playing their new single I Am What You Want Me To Be, which is probably their catchiest tune yet, and a personal favourite.
The only downer of the night is the surprising lack of an encore. We wanted it, the crowd chanted for more after The Jungle Giants exited the stage but, alas, we were deprived. It may have been a blessing in disguise; most looked completely exhausted. These awesome Giants are completely forgiven though, and honestly it’s slightly refreshing not to get what you want all the time: treat ’em mean keep ’em keen! They know what they’re doing.
Sam announced that The Jungle Giants will this year be releasing their first album, and no doubt another Aussie tour will follow to promote it. They’ll be performing at this year’s Splendour in the Grass, so brush up on your crazy aerobic-inspired dance moves if you’re lucky enough to be there this year!
The Jungle Giants’ pre-Splendour tour continues with dates in Sydney and Brisbane next week. You can win double passes to both shows here!
Friday, 12th July
Oh Hello, Brisbane
Saturday, 13th July
The Standard, Sydney
Also appearing at Splendour in the Grass and Spin Off Festival
Gallery: The Jungle Giants – Debut Album Sessions Behind-The-Scenes, Applewood Lane Studios
Watch: The Jungle Giants – I Am What You Want Me To Be