8th Oct 2012 1:30am | By Caitlin Stanway
It’s the venue people love to hate (the acoustics are hit and miss at best) but much like a temperamental first car, The Metro Theatre has a seedy, sentimental hold on most of us.
So when it was announced that Sydney indie veterans, Dappled Cities, were making a return to headlining their own shows, it seemed fitting that the rendezvous would be at the home of all things nostalgic.
Turning up to find the Metro sans a door line, or really any form of crowd, the atmosphere inside was fairly dismal to say the least. With the first ‘special guest’ of the night, Jessica Cerro, wrapping up a ballad to a smattering of keen fans, we grabbed a drink and found ourselves a prime viewing point ready to roll our eyes at the unknown support.
Cue entrance from stage right, where the two unassuming members of Irish-electronic band Jape quietly wander to their positions. Now I have to admit, when I first heard about Jape I was, well, let’s just say, less than enthusiastic to see them. So I was a little surprised when I found myself grinning ear to ear and breaking a move. Rocking an Empire of the Sun-cum-Cut Copy fusion, the combination of keys, synth and electronic drums did an impressive job of working up the crowd.
Lead singer Richie Egan was impossible not to enjoy. Bouncing around like a hyperactive leprechaun, Egan’s energy was being lapped up by the now raucous crowd. Most of the tracks were from their last album Oceans of Frequency, and the impressive number of Irish fans had no problems keeping up with the lyrics and generally mental jigging being thrown out by Jape.
By the time the duo exited (after so many ‘thank you's’ you could have sworn you were at the Oscars) the dance floor was packed with a buzzing crowd. After a slightly too long intermittence, the fog machines geared up and, together with an eerie blue haze and sonar sounds, turned the Metro into an aquarium while Dappled Cities took to the stage to an overwhelming response.
Kicking off strong with “Work in the Mould”, Dappled Cities managed to keep the initial excitement flowing through the first two songs. Unfortunately, those troublesome acoustics decided to wreck havoc with vocalist Tim Derricourt sounding like he was being smothered while the mic’s started up a screaming match.
By the time the sound was sorted the crowd had dulled a little, and with some of Dappleds' older songs falling on apparently deaf ears it became pretty clear that their latest album Lake Air had earned them a legion of new fans. While the Dappled favourite “Vision Bell” had the hard-core fans in front of us wearing a hole through the floor, new tune “Born at the Right Time” quickly had the newbies joining the party.
By the time the set was over the crowd was pumping and demanded an encore. It was at this point I indulged my first eye roll when Dappled Cities returned to stage claiming they’d bow to the pressure for an unplanned encore. Uh huh, the hugely popular tune “Cream”, that rounded up the performance perfectly, just happened to be left out of the main set?
If you say so, Dappled, if you say so.