What a big night! Big in multiple senses! Last day of uni for me FOREVER and topping the celebration off in style I headed to Shepherd’s Bush Academy to see Angus & Julia Stone. The dreamy duo, hail from Australia and are siblings (however Julia’s interactions with her brother seem a little incestuous from time to time – it must be how the Aussies get down…) and not only share a second name but a host of musical talent.
After getting over the miss matching of tickets (I booked circle instead of stalls – doh!) – we assumed a decent vantage point side stage. The stage peppered with instruments, which were decorated like Christmas trees soon became the focal point of interest as the lights dimmed. The band shimmied onto the stage, all men dressed as they were going to some outback farmers market and Angus hid behind impressive amounts of facial hair (I have seen them a couple of times now and that was a record amount of beardage), but Julia stole the fashion show in her gracious flowing turquoise dress.
The enchanting duo opened with ‘And The Boys’ luring Shepherd’s Bush into a carefree 80 minutes. The epic ‘Yellow Brick Road’ followed, my favourite off the new long player ‘Down The Way’, with swirling pads and triumphant chords, as far as I was concerned A & J were already onto a winner.
‘Hold On’ was another dreamy highlight, typical of their updated sound.
Throughout Julia pranced around the stage like butterfly using the trail of her dress as wings as she fluttered bare foot around the stage. Contrary was Angus’ prominence as he timidly hid behind a cap left of stage while girl’s screamed their love for him at any given silence. Angus unveiled a new track ‘Mercedes Benz’ shyly recounting a story of how he hitched a lift two hot girls in a white Mercedes, not the only song he has written about longing after a random female meeting. Nostalgia came from classics including crowd pleasers ‘Mango Tree’ and a cover of ‘You’re The One That I Want’ from Grease. This wasn’t the only cover; Julia nailed her twist of ‘Private Lawns’, which included an impressive one-handed trumpet solo!
The audiences trance ended on a perfect slow burner ‘Santa Monica Dream’, reminiscent of mellowing out on a beautiful isolated Australian beach somewhere. A beaming audience left that night from the charming indie folk duo. The new album ‘Down The Way’ is out now, though it takes a few listens, I defy any folk fan not to fall in love with it. Let’s keep these guys our little secret.