Live Review: Maribou State + Swooping Duck – Forum Theatre, Melbourne (18.07.19)

Completing their run of Splendour slideshows before their inevitable super set on Saturday, Maribou State put on a brilliant set for those unfortunate enough to miss out on the festival action over the weekend. The London duo used the evening to stamp their quality as they melded live instrumentation with some golden production work.

While there was an odd pause between door open and the opening act Swooping Duck (with eager punters almost awaiting an hour) the list of the nights negatives ended there as close to fourteen hundred people turned out to Melbourne’s premium Forum Theatre for the show. Maribou State’s touring partners Swooping Duck made ambient waves during their time on stage, as the sparkly instrumental outfit expertly blended bass, keys and a drum kit with ease. They were an interesting mood in the lead up to Maribou State, bobbing along at their own pace but never really stamping up the pressure.

Maribou quickly changed the tone, as the lights dimmed within the theatre a quiet chill of anticipation could be felt before the duo, Chris Davids and Liam Ivory walked onto the stage along with their touring members to rapturous applause. The opening tones of “Feel Good” set the show off on a high energy trip, with the swelling ambience clashing with Maribou State’s samples. Touring guest Holly Walker was a must-have for the hardcore Maribou State fan entering the set early for “Nervous Tics” and “Steal”. Holly used the fans to her advantage capitalising on the excitable Melbourne crowd, spending her second show in Australia bringing the house down with her angelic vocals.

Holly Walker

The party continued, Maribou running through a string of hits off of both of their recorded albums rolling out pearlers “Glasshouses”, “Beginners Luck” and “Kāma” off of recent recording Kingdoms In Colour while 2015 release Portraits was represented through the likes of “Midas” and “Natural Fools”. It was a natural mix from both albums which allowed the more recent fans as well as the duos early adopters a chance to dance to the tracks they knew best.

The crowd at the Forum Melbourne

Of course, the newest album was chosen to finish off the night, as their big number “Turnmills” closed out the set. The colour and lights that accompanied the show brought it to another level using the lighting to turn the Forum into an ambient electronic temple and if even half the magic Maribou State brought to Melbourne is present at Splendour, attendees are going to be spoilt rotten.

FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Maribou’s Australian tour has now finished as they head back to back to the UK for touring dates.

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