Words by Freya Langley
Photos by Kieran Ellis-Jones
Adelaide Uni Bar filled to the brim with friends and fans for the final night of the nationwide Shape Me tour – a celebration of Ambleside’s second EP release of the same name, underpinned by the strong friendships between the boys from Sleep Talk, Hindsight and Ambleside. Supported by local newbies Bearclaw Camp and Melbourne punk/hardcore legends Harbours, punters were certainly in for a treat.
Bearclaw Camp opened the evening with their refreshing brand of pop punk which was bound to warm up the crowd for the remainder of night. The crowd came in early to catch the four-piece perform to a bunch of fresh faces who had not heard or seen them before. This band is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Sleep Talk set the tone for the rest of the show, delivering a powerful, high-energy set and solidifying themselves as one of Adelaide’s hottest up-and-coming bands. The melodic hardcore five-piece electrified the growing crowd, performing a range of heavy, heartfelt songs backed by gutsy riffs off their debut EP Growing Pains. The crowd was hypnotised in a rare, mesmerising moment of calm by the sorrowful sounds of Lewis Tito on trumpet during 'Teeth' – a small homage to emo cult icons, American Football. Crowd favourite, 'Sorry', saw a stage invasion from featured vocalist, Jack Nelligan of Hindsight and a sea of people clamouring for a mic-grab.
Adelaide favourites, Hindsight undoubtedly stole the show, pulling off a heavy, manic set fuelled by punchy drum beats, smooth guitars and Lewis Tito’s clean, melodic vocals. Using the breaks between songs to praise Cooper’s Pale Ale, front-man Jack Nelligan’s stage presence, furiously angst-ridden vocals and infectiously energetic stage presence captivated an already excited crowd. Playing crowd favourites, 'Disposable Paradise' and 'Hole', Nelligan seemed to struggle to strike the perfect balance between crowd participation and performance. Closing an ultimately phenomenal set with a stellar performance of 'Loveover' begged to question their earlier placement on the evening’s bill.
The patchwork quilt of east-coast Australian punk-hardcore, Harbours, comprised of members from Sierra, Ocean Grove and In Elegance, delivered a penultimate set which drew the crowd in emotionally. The Melbourne tourists on an all-Adelaide bill were certainly not the odd ones out, as they captured the crowd with moody tracks, 'Pulling Teeth' and 'Nothing Stays The Same' - exiting the stage leaving big shoes to fill for the final band of the night.
Opening their set with 'Dear Mother', Ambleside lulled their excited crowd under their spell. The boys exceeded already high expectations, delivering a tight performance to a sea of adoring punters. Raging circle pits and enthusiastic crowd participation lasted throughout the set, with the punters swelling and scrambling towards the stage for the much-anticipated 'Wash Away'. Vocalist Daniel Stevens shows excellent control over his audience and truly comes into his own as a performer and entertainer; his emotive lyrics complimenting his raspy, punchy vocals in a full-frontal sonic assault. Polishing off an awesome set with 'Tired Eyes' and a cover of Good Charlotte’s 'The Anthem', it is clear why Ambleside is one of the most prominent bands in the Adelaide hardcore scene.