For those that were worried Kingswood’s new musical direction unveiled on After Hours, Close to Dawn would mellow out their live show, have no fear. Sauntering out on stage to the electric groove of ‘Rebel Babe’, Kingswood brought their trademark intensity to a sold out Karova Lounge.
Within the first few minutes of their set, frontman Fergus Linacre showed that he really is a man at the peak of his powers. From his strut across the stage to the raw almost unhinged edge he brings, he is a man that knows how to reach a crowd and reach the crowd he did.
It didn’t take long for Kingswood to start digging into their back catalogue either, ripping out their massive hits ‘Sucker Punch’ and ‘ICFTYDLM’ to thunderous applause. These songs as well as the vicious ‘Medusa’ and galloping ‘She’s My Baby’ gave guitarist Alex Laska a chance to show fans old and new why he should be considered amongst Australia’s best guitarists currently doing the rounds. His ferocity on guitar is matched by his soulful execution, equally adept at furious licks as he is at the sexy and slinky work showcased on the sexy smooth track ‘Golden’.
From the bittersweet country vibe of ‘Big City’ to the grand ‘Atmosphere’, it is apparent that the expansion to Kingswood has only served to help propel them to even greater heights. The feminine back up harmonies delivered by the lovely ladies on stage combined with the rhythm section to create some truly epic sounds without losing an ounce of the intimacy brought forth by the confines of Karova Lounge.
It is fair to say a lesser band may have struggled to pull off the change of pace that Kingswood have, however the downward shift in tempo did nothing but help build to one of the highlights of the set. All of Kingswood’s power combined for a truly awe inspiring take of Destiny’s Child’s ‘Say My Name’, the very same song they unleashed on an unsuspecting Australia for triple j’s Like A Version back in July to rapturous reviews. It from this base that Kingswood launched the final third of their set, including the raucous hit ‘Ohio’. To say that the crowd were frenzied would be an understatement. ‘Ohio’ is the very definition of a modern rock classic, big and loud and full of raw energy.
Proving that they are masters of the craft the men of Kingswood saved their best till last and showing that the whole hour and a bit beforehand were just the entrée for the delicious main course that was ‘Creepin’. The booming bass riff at the forefront of ‘Creepin’ willed the crowd into action, with not one man or woman standing still before the chorus hit.
Kingswood ask “are you the one that lights the flame that set my heart alight again” before Alex Laska plays his last and probably best solo of the night. To answer their own question Kingswood are the ones that light the flame and it is fair to say right now they may be Australia’s best rock band, and with more live shows like this one it is only a matter of time before they become household names. These guys aren’t the next Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil or Hunter and Collectors, they are the first Kingswood and if you haven’t seen them yet buy yourself a ticket next time they go on tour.
Where: Karova Lounge
When: November 17
Reviewed by Zac Tapscott