Words by Meg Mead
Photos by Morgan Sette
Saturday night at the well-loved Exeter was an example of why we love our city. Getting to the door was an adventure in itself - as Rundle Street was swarmed with Fringe-goers, buskers and market stalls; the treats of the night given a perfect setting.
Burnside Mums opened the afternoon in the Exeter’s beer garden, with a swelling set that drowned out the chaotic noise of outside. Their melodic, hopeless rock drew a crowd of local fans, donning the band’s iconic Burnside Village inspired logo.
As the sun set over the beer garden, The Winter Gypßy dutifully matched the scenery. Another local beauty, this six-piece band is one to follow. Rolling drums, swelling piano and melodic vocals made for a dutiful prelude to the headliners.
All so suddenly, the beer garden is packed and throbbing with sonic layers of joy as Neon Tetra take to the stage to debut their second EP Dos. Viewing from tabletops was a sea of bobbing haircuts swarmed in for some fun. Harmonious, lengthy instrumentals opened the set, with soothing, heart-felt trumpet and saxophone.
Emerging from the swooning sound came the psychedelic single ‘Memoriam’. The sea of people swelled with waves of dancing. Special guest Bill Meegan, of Sleepy Lizard, came in for added percussion, beautifully costumed and handing in some well hit rhythms. Oscar Westell gave his drum kit a workout and sent sticks flying – but hey, he could do as he pleased on his birthday.
Following a pause for a birthday song and gifts for the crowd, a well-accessorised Josh Bach took over on the cowbell whilst bassist, Liam Roche, let his impressive mane run wild. Josh Allen’s vocals are simply another instrument skilfully worked into the complex layering. The bathing synths are warmly provided by Dan Clohesy.
Neon Tetra knows how to swoon a crowd with their delivery. The fresh water fish by the same name would swim proudly this evening, its colourful scales not easily missed by the eye of the local Adelaide music scene.