With a newly released album and a national tour announcement, you would expect to see a bit of hype surrounding Sydney electronic sensation, Kilter. Unfortunately, much like mid-week gigs, Sunday’s can either make or break a show here in Newcastle.
When I walked into the Cambridge Hotel, I was one of the four people who had turned up to see the opening set at 6:30pm. It would be fair to say that if you were playing to an (almost) empty room, that being enthusiastic certainly wouldn’t be at the top of your to do list; that is of course unless you’re ALTA. The duo refused to let the lack of patrons affect their performance; playing as if there was a full house.
Armed with a mixture of slow burners and robust dance tracks it was the perfect way to start out a Sunday night. ALTA’s set felt quite personal, with Hannah Lesser’s vocals cutting through the punchy samples and synths. As much as I genuinely enjoyed Kilter’s set, ALTA was the real stand out of the night for me. I’m calling it, these guys are definitely one to watch.
What might have seemed like just a lone man with a laptop, Feki took to the stage and really turned up the volume. If I only had three words to describe this set, they would be: ALL TIME VIBES. By this time there was at least 50 people through the doors, and while this was still pretty disheartening, the DJ took it like a champ. Feki’s sample heavy set was received well by the crowd, churning out classic’s such as Mark Ronson’s I Can’t Lose and the Black Eyed Pea’s classic, My Humps. Even though there was a couple of questionable transitions throughout the set, Feki really knows how to turn a tune.
If you were one of the 100 or so people who looked at the set times and decided to show up ten minutes before the headline act, then I’m sorry to say, but you really sold your night short.
By the time Kilter took to the stage, the atmosphere of The Cambridge had begun to lift a little, considering it was still well before 9pm. After such a vibrant set from Feki, it was at times an interesting transition as Kilter took on slow burner tracks like his latest single Treasure. It seemed as though the set was quite restrained and almost docile at the beginning, which allowed it to build throughout the night to banger tracks such as I Hear You and Fool For You.
There is no disputing that Kilter is an incredibly talented musician. In addition to his signature drumming, he also plays the keyboard, mixes and interacts with the audience; all of which is by no means an easy feat. As if this wasn’t already enough, Kilter has brought guitarist Timi Temple to play alongside him for the tour. Personally, I think that the guitar complimented the set perfectly, adding more depth to the set; others were apparently not so sold on the idea.
With so many contributors on his album, it was a shame that the only guest appearance of the night was Hannah from ALTA; the live vocals really made the performance a more personal experience. If you’re reading this LANKS, you should probably make a cheeky appearance on the Melbourne leg of the tour. Just saying.
Lack of guest appearances aside, Kilter’s debut at The Cambridge was a solid performance and deserved far more recognition (and audience members) than he received. Here’s hoping that the nicest guy in electronic music decides to come back to Newcastle soon (or at all).
One last thing. To the crowd members who decided to create their own special effects with the unattended gas cylinder, maybe leave it to the professionals next time. At least there’ll be less of a chance that you’ll get kicked out.
– Bree Smith
Bree is a Newcastle import who survives off British television and hummus. She spends the majority of her time chasing bands up and down the east coast. Never without a set of headphones, you’ll often find her lost in a wormhole of related artists on Spotify. One day she hopes to impress people by being able to play more than one song on guitar.