Concert Review: Daniel Armstrong and The Monsoons at The Thirsty Dog 19 June 2021

The crowd flocked into The Thirsty Dog. Daniel Armstrong and The Monsoons were in town and serving up a menu of freshly cut Rock ‘n’ Roll, featuring their second album, Everything Is As It Shouldn’t Be played in its entirety.

The Wrong Things kicked off with no introduction and no vocals on the first three tracks, but the vocals were not the centre piece of this act!

The three-piece started off with a distinct droning bass and steady beat before leaping into a series of genre fusions. I heard grunge, I heard alt-rock, I head psychedelia and a punk-rock.

For their second live show to date, these guys were a solid opening act. Fans of bands like Radiohead and Dinosaur Jr should keep an eye on these guys!

Daniel Armstrong and The Monsoons

Daniel Armstrong and The MonsoonsThe 5-piece alt-rock Daniel Armstrong and The Monsoons began with a classic slow blues feel with Jacinda Kumar serenading us with Violin and Daniel Armstrong bending slightly in the knees so as to press his lips upon the microphone.

His fragile yet haunting tone imbued listeners and the emotive sweep of a chorus in the sentimental ballad Shut Up For a Minute and had me mouthing the hook “From the other side”.

With an indie-rock vibe emitting from Daniel’s Telecaster together with his melodic storytelling, I found myself in a time capsule with the 60’s band The Velvet Underground and singer songwriter Bob Dylan to which the resurgence of rock and roll themes were polished and played upon.

The chemistry and humour passed between band members was electric with the keyboard and bass player inventing synchronised dance moves and Daniel sparking up banter with the audience between songs. I was taken to a scene in the movie A Hard Day’s Night with The Beatles, when a reporter asks Ringo Starr, Are you a mod or a rocker? And he replies “Um, no, I’m a mocker”.  Classic wisecracks!

Alex Rau was up front shedding a wild organ tone on keyboard next to James Brooks on bass and David Hampton kickin’ it back on drums together providing a solid rhythm section.

The band played the album in its entirety with a few extra tracks, Board Games off the 2019 self-titled album and a track called The Company that is yet to be released.

We were lucky to see the band perform last night as they had been planning a Europe tour before the Covid hit. The lockdown inspired Daniel’s light lampoon like ideas in the album amongst optimistic perspectives, a favourite of mine being in the song Somebody on your mind, with the lyrics “get some truth, get some life, get somebody on your mind”. I am glad to tell you Daniel, I have almost ticked off all on that list!

Odessa Neilands

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