Dead Letter Circus, Circles @ The Gov, Adelaide 22/12/2018

Christmas time; a time for celebrations, drinks and music. As the year draws to a close many aspects of life have that ‘end’ feel about it. Tonight at The Gov was no different as Dead Letter Circus came to town to play their last show of the year. There was celebration, there were drinks and there was music.

The doors opened a full seventy minutes before opening band Circles came on stage which meant a lot of punters were already well lubricated when the first notes of Winter played. A few hardy souls made it to the barrier while most of the crowd watched from that imaginary safe distance of ten feet back. Not for long though, as by the time second track Dream Sequence had finished, the gap had been replaced by headbangers and drinkers alike. Circles, led by the mesmerising vocals of Ben Rechter, paint a picture of soft melancholy over a base of rocking riffs that forcefully shake your head.

Tracks such as Another Me and Erased take you on a roller coaster of heaviness with short breathers before off you plunge again into those riffs. By this time, the barrier has no room to move as the band triumphantly move through their set.

An appearance from Dead Letter Circus on stage to do shots and celebrate the tour continues the celebratory mood before the final few songs bring the set home. With fill in bassist Nguyen Phambam from Alithia fitting in seamlessly with drummer David Hunter, the riffs from Ted Furuhashi and Rechter keep battering the senses long after final track Tether has finished.

A little know fact that in Australia, if you’re having a party at some point, by law, you must play AC/DC. As the intro to Thunderstruck finishes, Brisbane’s all conquering heroes Dead Letter Circus take to the stage with The Armour You Own and immediately the noise is deafening.

Promoting their new self-titled album, the venue is packed and singing loud and proud to While You Wait and Space On The Wall. Frontman Kim Benzie is a whirl of energy on the small stage, imploring the crowd to jump, sing, jump and sing again. The set list is packed with classics and sprinkled with newbies like Change, which starts with a different soulful vibe before the room shakes with bouncing again.

Whether it’s the bass drum from Luke Williams during Cage or the guitar work from Clint Vincent and Luke Palmer during I Am, a slow brooding number that explodes like a hand grenade, the band have the crowd eating out of their hand. Continuing the celebration theme, Circles themselves take to the stage to replicate the shot drinking and even take part in the track The Mile.

Next In Line, with its machine gun drums, tears the roof off and finishes the set before the band surprise with one last extra present. However that will be kept a secret, for tonight was an end of tour party. Everyone there was given a gift, that gift was all about celebrations, drinking and music.

Live Review by Iain McCallum

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