Kingswood opened their second of two sold-out shows at the Newtown Social Club with the high-energy All Too Much and showed early on that they were there to blow us away. They followed-up with Sucker Punch, whose trifecta of rocking guitar riff, pounding drum line and catchy hook had the crowd moving right away.
New single I Can Feel That You Don’t Love Me is sensual, brooding and sexy, with guitarist Alex Laska taking over lead vocals for frontman Fergus Linacre. This blues-inspired track is a little different to what we’ve seen from the band on their EPs, but it shows that they’ve matured as songwriters and performers, and can take things down a notch without being boring.
Next up is a cover of First Aid Kit’s sultry single My Silver Lining. Kingswood seem to have a thing for covering the Swedish folk duo, having previously performed a rendition of Wolf for Like a Version. First Aid Kit and Kingswood probably aren’t bands that you would normally associate with each other, but somehow the Melbourne boys manage to bring a new edge to their songs without drifting too far away from the originals.
Watch: Kingswood – I Can Feel That You Don’t Love Me
Similarly, old favourite Medusa was altered to include lines from Queens of the Stone Age’s 2000 classic Feel Good Hit of the Summer. The words effortlessly slipped into the chorus of Kingswood’s tune, almost as though the song had been written with Josh Homme’s famously druggy, staccato creation in mind.
Though new song Piece by Piece initially felt subdued after the huge high of Medusa, it fooled everyone by leading right into the heavy, guitar-driven Chronos. This sublime transition made for one of the standout moments of the night. The slow build-up into face-melting, blistering guitar solos and pounding drums was perfectly executed and received an appropriate response from the crowd.
The band finished with their big hit Ohio, which inspired a lot of crowd participation and fans singing along with the track’s infectious hook – “You can stay a little longer”. The song just kept rolling on thanks to Laska’s extended guitar solos and Justin Debrincat’s drumming, though at no point did it border on overkill. The long jams were what made the song such a treat to experience live.
As the band walked off stage, they declared the gig their “Best yet!” Credit must be given to their sound technician, the venue and the crowd. Kingswood are one of the hardest-working bands in Australia right now, and they somehow manage to improve with every performance.
Kingswood’s extensive national tour will continue through September and October – full details here.
Gallery: Kingswood – Sydney, Newtown Social Club 27/08/14