Some bands pretend to be more mysterious than they are. Then there is Melbourne’s Twelve Foot Ninja. A band with a rabid and loyal following in Australia. Who are just as successful in the UK while the US most certainly know who they are. Yet in ten years they have released two albums. So how do they have packed Gov on a Saturday night eating out of their hands?
Opening proceedings are Ripcord, having recently greeted a fourth member to the fold, and they proceed to warm the neck muscles of the crowd. Their music has dashes of grunge, punk and alternative tendencies however the one current that runs through the band is their commitment to a amazing riff. Every song absolutely rocks with a Zeppelin dash of rock. Could these guys be Australia’s answer to Greta Van Fleet?
West Australians Voyager are back in town. Fresh from a triumphant Download appearance, they have been Twelve Foot Ninja’s choice of support for the tour and its easy to see why. They combine many different shades of music within their palette. Going from reggae soul to prog rock, they keep the crowd engaged with their infectious energy. Danny Estrin’s vocals are soft during the bands lighter, almost 80’s style pop, before soaring during the bands heavier moments. A quick nod to The Prodigy with a sample of Breathe slips into the set list before the band welcome the headliners on stage for a end of tour celebratory beverage.
The mercurial Twelve Foot Ninja Take to the stage late on, in which this is their last show of the Australian leg. Opening with One Hand Killing the crowd erupts as does Stevic guitar which doesn’t seem to work.
The rest of the band ruthlessly play on with the crowd favourite Coming For You blasts out with it’s killer riffs and reggae jazz breaks before Stevic’s guitar is back.
The bands quirky humour is often displayed throughout their music making them a delight for both metal-heads and those of gentler persuasion as shown by the classy Vanguard and Oxygen.
The crowd surfers are in force, the singers loud and the guy who drunkly walk backwards before crashing into a pole, knocking himself out, during Deluge, will all have stories to tell the next day.
While tracks such as Point Of You and Dig For Bones create an electric energy, it’s on Shruiken and Mother Sky that the energy goes seismic. The dynamic shift from soulful crooning to earth moving riffs encapsulates the best of what Twelve Foot Ninja are about.
The boys will prepare for Europe and a spot of the original Download festival’s line up now that Australia has been reminded just who is the mercurial giant of our music. They are Twelve Foot Ninja, they’re not tall, they’re not quiet however they are the best genre bending metal band out there. Europe it’s your turn to upload this band.
Live Review By Iain McCallum