Music journalists go to a lot of gigs. Genius observation, I know. Whilst this doesn’t sound like an arduous task – and don’t get me wrong, it isn’t really – sometimes it’s hard to think of good things to say about the band. Harsh but true.
Rocking up to The Evelyn Hotel last week, my expectations which were medium to begin with, were being tested through the opening acts. Then came Melbourne band Van Myer. Needless to say what came next was my socks being knocked off by their awesomeness. Read on…
Van Myer @The Evelyn
Would you like to see a male version of Aretha Franklin? Would you like to see him wearing a red Navajo poncho singing some soul tunes? Would you like to see him backed by a sick rock and roll band? If your answer to all of these was ‘hells yes’, read on.
When you go to a lot of gigs, it’s easy to fall into a lull where your expectations start off low. Every now and again there’s a gig that blows it out of the water and restores your faith in live music again. Enter, Van Myer.
“DO YOU LIKE THE BLUES?!” belts Byrnes…
When the first sound lead singer Jack Byrnes makes is an Anastasia-like (the singer, not the movie) howl, you know you’re in good company. The Melbourne five piece, including Eamonn Hollamby on the guitar, Alex Brown on bass, Rob Moselyon the keys and Marcus Porcaro on drums, are as yet unsigned. Although we predict that won’t be for long.
In a world where cool equals quiet and mysterious, Byrnes’ unabashed charisma sweeps you off your feet, making it impossible not to hit the d-floor immediately. “DO YOU LIKE THE BLUES?!”, belts Byrnes into an already psyched audience. Turns out yes, yes we do.
They describe themselves as Rock’N’Soul…
Van Myer stand out for so many reasons – each member is extremely talented at their instrument, they just have stage presence and most obviously their music is just good. They describe themselves as Rock ‘N’ Soul. We see their Rock’N’Soul and raise them blues, pop and synths.
If not for these talents, the five minute-long drum solo reminiscent of Peter’s fight with the giant chicken on Family Guy might have been a little OTT. As it were, it started out fucking awesome, then it got awkward and then it ended fucking awesome again. Touché Porcaro, touché. We’ll allow the self-indulgence on this occasion mostly because it was rad and plus the drummer spoke to us afterwards and gave us a free EP. Schweeet.
Van Myer will be at The Evelyn every Wednesday for the rest of the month. So you can be (that wanker) who says they liked them way back when, we recommend you get down and see them before they get super popular and famous.
First published on Vulture Magazine.