The Twa Tams has a special place in my heart. It was where my pals and I used to hang out as teenagers in the 1990’s and it was here that I was first exposed to live music on a regular basis. I even remember trying unsuccessfully to sneak in to the Tams to see Ocean Colour Scene in 1996. So, when I was offered the opportunity to do a live music review, I was very pleased that this gig should be An Orange Conspiracy at the Twa Tams.
An Orange Conspiracy are literally a band of brothers. A Perth trio consisting of Ricki Galea on lead vocals and guitar, and siblings Leo on bass and Casey on drums. I had heard their eponymous debut E.P. and their recent recent single Queen of Columbia and was looking forward to seeing how they re-created their layered sound live.
Things got off to a really promising start with Opium Valley the stand out track from their debut, a groovy little track with a strong Stone Roses vibe. Ricki gets a really big sound from his pedalboard, Casey keeps it right in the pocket with a solid grove and Leo introduces a lot of variety with his playing without allowing things to get too busy. By the time second song Lust kicks in the lads are really hitting their stride and it featured some really nice guitar solos. It’s also really nice to see how well the brothers communicate together on stage locking in with each other to create a nice syncopated rhythm.
A real highlight of the show for me was Queen of Columbia. This ballad starts out whisper quiet and really showcases the softer side of Ricki’s voice but it slowly builds to an epic chorus (with nice harmonies by Casey) put me in mind of Arctic Monkeys or going further back Embrace. Although it brings to mind these artists it is with this song that I think An Orange Conspiracy are really starting to find their own voice, there's a real swagger to the performance and it showcases some really solid songwriting. It also includes some of their best lyrics to date including the line, “cause I can be whoever I want to be looking at myself in the mirror down the barrel of her Majesty” which is a nice Lennonesque turn of phrase. Judging by the reaction of the audience I wasn’t the only one who is a fan of this particular song, it seems it’s already shaping up to be a firm fan favourite. The band also introduced a brand new unreleased song Slow Lizard that is already in pretty good shape and I’m really looking forward to see how it turns out on record. The show was brought to a close by another e.p. track Dream and due to a late start it was already last orders, so it was chips then home for me.