Life has this funny way of going around in circles and coincidences. It wasn’t too long ago that I stumbled across an EP on my iPod (and I’m sure the physical copy is tucked away in its rightful alphabetical home) and wondered what had happened with that artist, having seem them many years ago as a support act and being so impressed that I bought the CD.
So on an unsuspecting Thursday night at the Corner, with a sparse crowd strategically positioned around the outskirts of the floor, the answer was revealed. Here was Ainslie Wills (this time as a trio, although five people were on stage. Soulful vocals with a rich, warm tone, crafted minimalist arrangements and effortless blending of backing vocals in a batch of impressive alt pop tunes. And for consistency and good measure, another CD purchased. Even better was discovering ‘that’ song I’d really liked on the radio was by none other than Ainslie Wills (that song being Drive – it’s a good one!)
But The Bamboos were the main attraction on the night, complete with commensurate flamboyance and splendour of frontman Tim Rogers. Ditching the rock aura and opting for something a little more suave (complete with a few outfit changes), even leaving the guitar at home in place of a few select percussion selections, starting with a referee-style finger whistle before launching into S-U-C-C-E-S-S, the opening track of the latest album.
This was just a taste of the creative collaboration with The Bamboos, undoubtedly since Rogers contributed vocals to a track on the band’s Medicine Man album. More followed, including a lesson in The Rules of Attraction, but Kylie Auldist also took on vocal duties and expanded the setlist to some of the previous releases. Stunning and impressive doesn’t even come close to giving kudos to those vocal chords – just pure golden soul.
Of course, Lance Ferguson is worthy of accolades too – not because of any magnitude of vocal ability but for some serious musical chops as band leader, with a stellar band that simply mesmerised with mind-blowing solos on the night.
A night’s journey that took us rightly back to where this all started, with I Got Burned.