12th Nov 2012 2:53am | By James Thompson
It’s the time of year when sun and dream pop go hand-in-hand, however my journey to The Metro was somewhat tainted by a miserable Thursday storm. Luckily my mood was not tainted, I was ready for some fresh Australian talent – Gypsy & The Cat.
Frontmen Xavier Bacash and Lionel Towers make up the Melbourne-based duo, who, prior to Gypsy & The Cat, were DJs who spent a lot of time in the UK. The boys have been around for a couple of years now, producing two albums The Late Blue and Gilgamesh. I have always viewed this band as the kind of band where you know their songs on the radio but can never quite remember their name.
The Metro is one of my favourite venues in Sydney as the sound system is massive and the ambiance is close and personal. From the moment Gypsy & The Cat begun, it was apparent that their live sound was as good as their produced albums. Mind you, even Romney singing Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive would sound fantastic in the little hot box.
Starting with a classic from their first album, Time To Wonder, they began very strong, mixing new and old tracks. The duo came across as extremely shy and almost geeky with Xavier Bacash showing only sporadic, uninhibited outbursts over the music.
There is no questioning their talent as musicians - Lionel Towers had some serious equipment around him, creating effortless electro samples to accommodate their dream pop genre. You can definitely hear their influences – Fleetwood Mac and Air spring to mind. I even asked myself during the set, “would this be the kind of music Toto would play if they were still around in 2012?"
Nonetheless, their set seemed to fade in the middle. The crowd took less interest in the music and talked over the band. However, this was soon forgotten when they played Jona Vark – it ignited the crowd, sending their core fans into ecstasy.
It seems to me that Sydney, as a city, gets the mid-week tour dates quite regularly, which is a shame as no one seems to get as involved as they would on a Friday or Saturday. Unfortunately Gypsy & The Cat had to compete with this, and, in my opinion, they succeeded with average outcome.
Downsides included the set only lasting an hour or so with one song - Human Desire, as an encore. However, as the ticket price was only $37 and the band have only released two albums – I can safely say that you got what you paid for.
Electro/dream pop is a very fashionable and competitive genre where the likes of MGMT and the Naked and Famous lie. Pound for pound I believe that Gypsy & The Cat can rival such bands. Their albums are not filled with 'fillers' and they bring something new and unique to the ever-growing category.
If they are playing the festivals this summer season, I strongly suggest giving them a listen as their dream pop will no doubt be perfect in the summer sun.