Melbourne outfit Kingswood have a lot going for them right now. Having come through the ranks of Triple J Unearthed and tasted success in last year’s Hottest 100, they have returned home for an extensive tour after time spent recording in Nashville.
With their debut album, Microscopic Wars only released in the past week, the band already enjoys a loyal and enthusiastic fan-base, as demonstrated by the capacity crowd who turned up at Pirie and Co for the opening night of the tour.
The Sinking Teeth warmed up the midweek audience with a loud and energetic set. Kingswood then took the stage, starting with “All Too Much”, the opening track from their album, and by the time they ripped into “Sucker Punch” the crowd were eagerly singing along.
While Kingswood have made a name for themselves for their brand of brash, muscular rock, this is no one-dimensional affair. It is actually in the slower moments that their considerable talent is revealed, particularly in the bluesy groove of current single, “I Can Feel That You Don’t Love Me”, a song that met with great enthusiasm. This was introduced with an invitation for the crowd to engage in some sexy dancing, a few audience members obliging with a stage invasion that was welcomed by the band.
Further evidence of their musical diversity came later in the performance with covers First Aid Kit and Queens of the Stone Age sitting alongside each other.
There were sound problems early on in the set, with many in the crowd struggling to hear the vocals, and the band even asking for more speakers. While Pirie and Co is a welcome addition to the live music scene in Adelaide, it probably wasn’t a perfect fit for Kingswood, whose big sound was a little too much for the small underground venue. With a sell-out audience in front of the small stage, the sight lines were also quite limited. By the time the band hit the album’s title track, however, sound had improved, allowing for the band’s signature harmonies to come through strongly.
Kingswood finished the night with a powerhouse rendition of last year’s “Ohio”, the crowd once again singing along. A dynamic live act, they deliver grand guitars solos, rocking rhythms and smooth vocals. While their sound is very modern, Kingswood reminds us that the music scene in this country was once dominated by loud pub rock, and they are worthy successors to this legacy.
In Adelaide we are fortunate that they have chosen to begin and end their current tour with us, giving audiences another chance to catch them on 24 October at the Unibar. In a short space of time they achieved a great deal and one gets the sense that things are only going to get bigger from here.
Reviewed by Matthew Trainor