Sydney electronic RnB artist Thief took a modest crowd on a relatively quiet night at Rocket Bar and whipped up a fertile dance floor out of nothing. With a bunch of people there, probably by chance, Thief, with his two piece band, array of samples and warpy synth bag-of-tricks couldn’t help but seduce the random assortment of regulars and drop-ins from their hum drum conversation and safe-zones by the bar.
Before they did though, Geelong soft indie rock act Residual, proved that great rock bands don’t always hail from the big smoke. With huge soaring vocals with an emotive lilt and a solid band providing a wall-of-sound backing, Residual have a more modern British indie sound, with an almost international-scale professionalism. With sweet heartfelt melodies and a great all round band, the act will probably win over a bunch of fans if they secure heavy rotation. At least live, they’ve got it down pat already. Unfortunately, they may not have been the best option as main support for the instantly danceable electro of Thief, but that being said, they’ll be all the better for the experience.
With incisive, slick minamalist electro reminiscent of everything from Gnarles Barkley, Daft Punk, Justice, Frank Ocean and, at a stretch Maroon 5, Thief is one act that’s going to turn heads in the next year, if the universe gets its way. Aside from the afore-mentioned influences or comparisons, depending on your take, Thief mixes his obvious pop sensibilities with a sharp post- RnB sound, helped in a big way by a super tight rhythm section, heavily effected envelope filter synth, fullish electronic samples and the seemingly mandatory, off-tempo post-electronica sounds which these days, assures relevance within Australia’s burgeoning electronic scene.
The random cover of Outkast’s ‘Sorry Miss Jackson was great’. The abrasive, hard, stagnated of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Cry Me a River’ was amazing, but the dude’s got his own songwriting chops: the highlight of the night was easily his own, Triple J staple, ‘Closer.’
Thief is a cool, casual character with undeniable talent, effortless charisma, and above all, a huge future.
Reviewed by Gavin De Almeida 11 Apr 2014