One of the things that made the free concert so enjoyable was the quality of the acts that were headlining the event. Bands such as the Atlantic Street Band, Lucky Seven, The Wholias, Matsuri Taiko Japanese Drummers, Las Chicas Bomba Brazilian Dancers entertained in an atmosphere that was suited to everyone - not just families. You had big band sounds, the sounds of Bourbon Street, Argentine rhythms and some eclectic Bollywood bravura in amongst the set list and it made for a totally enjoyable evening, which was capped off by an early fireworks display at 9PM - perfect for the kids.
But in amongst all these stellar musical acts was one band that stood out like a beacon and had me wanting for more. And, true to form, I embarked on a typically enthusiastic information gathering exercise the next day on the band Gemini Downs.
On stage during 2011's NYE celebrations, Adelaide, Australia.
Where Gemini Downs mark their individuality though is in the way they flirt - devilishly so - with the unconventional by bringing a host of instruments to their music including the piano accordion, alto and tenor saxophone, clarinet, mandolins, the Cello even tap dancing. Jessica Braithwaite is a formidable tap dancer who, during the NYE performance in the park, ripped the roof off the place with an enthusiastic tap performance that works - TOTALLY WORKS. Their songs are lyrical poetry and speak of love and places, life in all it's untarnished glory, the passionate and the dispassionate. You will listen for their lyrics but you will experience their musicality as a sumptuous whole and take it all in like a hearty meal that leaves you warm.
My Daughter Rocks Out With the band at Adelaide's NYE celebration.
As their profile Down Under continues to rise, Gemini Downs has already featured on Triple J's Unearthed series which gives exposure to up an coming Australian bands and, at the time of writing, they are working on a debut album to complement a self titled EP release which is available as a download from CD Baby for the princely sum of $5.99. I've already purchased this EP and I can attest to the beauty of the Gemini Downs sound (check my left side bar where I've placed their album cover). It is rich. It is honest and it is wonderfully unconventional.
I hope for big things for this band and given their impressive work rate on the tour circuit domestically, Gemini Downs will be an outfit to watch in 2012. Try out their music. I know you won't be disappointed.
Post Script - My daughter's first experience of fireworks.