Adelaide folk and roots band The Timbers launched their new album Lawless to an enthusiastic crowd at The (reasonably new) Jade Monkey last night.
After losing a well fought battle to stay at their Twin Street location, The Jade Monkey has moved to a new home at heritage listed St Paul’s Rectory on Flinders Street.
The elegant, yet suitably hipster décor at The Jade is perfect for Adelaide’s music loving crowd who are fiercely loyal to their live gig venues.
Shortly after doors opened, Louise Adams took to the stage to warm up a rapidly growing crowd.
The Barossa born, current Victorian singer/songwriter appears to be a reincarnation of Janis Joplin; her music reaches out, open you up and fill you with her soul.
Next on the line-up were Adelaide all-girl, rockabilly band The Villenettes whose toe-tapping grooves had everyone rocking out, ready for the main act.
The Timbers, who formed in 2008 by Tasmanian, Ben Roberts and Adelaidian, Simon Basey from their staff dorm room on Hamilton Island clearly already have a loyal and adoring fan base.
Already having released two EPs, guitarist (also mandolin, banjo, foot percussion, vocals and tin whistle) Roberts said first album Lawless is about getting all of their songs down for a fresh start.
“This album is like a real chapter of birth to where we are now; from the creative craziness, then signing off the chapter and starting again” he said.
From toe tapping to thigh slapping, once The Timbers, who could be most likened to The Pogues or Mumford and Sons (but better), hit the stage the energy soared.
You would have to be dead or unconscious not to be up and dancing or at least infected by their addictive rootsy, folk-rock made up of banjo, trumpet, mandolin, acoustic guitars, four part harmony and an array of instruments played with their feet.
For a local band to be begged for an encore is a pretty amazing thing but totally unsurprising as the set seemed to go too quickly, not because they didn’t have enough material but because time flew and we were having fun.
Although the smaller venue is perfect for events like the album launch, the lower stage posed a problem for some in the mosh who wouldn’t have seen much of Roberts or Basey who were sitting down to play.
The four each wore a piece of costume, which added to their gypsy vibe, from angel wings to a Viking helmet and a rather questionable cardigan.
Vocalist (also guitar, organ bass pedals, piano and piano accordion) Basey’s unique voice is strong and perfect for the flavour of the music and the harmonies.
My only criticism would be that if The Jade Monkey are to host any more bands who command their audience to dance, they might think about improving their air conditioning and ventilation.
The Timbers’ album Lawless is available to buy and download now.
Review by Libby Parker
Photo by Steve O’Connor