Japanese Wallpaper - Newtown Social Club, Sydney

Written by Hannah Teape-Davis

Japanese Wallpaper - Newtown Social Club, Sydney

Nick Hill opened the night laying down some super sweet, deep and basey beats. His DJ pal seemed to have a different groove going through his cans, or else just thinks frenetic dance moves are the jam for slower numbers – either way, he added a great element to the set, and the duo are a class act that need to be caught.

Also supporting the main event was Sydney alt-indie act Montaigne. Despite a tiny frame, this is an artist with a huge stage presence, and the kind of act you know is going somewhere. Newtown Social Club has this weird, quirky vibe where everyone just.. sits there. On the floor. In circles. Like it’s Friday night church group, not the middle of one of the coolest spots in Sydney.

Despite being totally chill, this kind of air might put a lesser artist off, but Montainge owned the moment, giving everyone a polite but firm ‘get off your asses’ after her first soaring number. This short and sweet encouragement was all it took to have people in the moment, and she set up the crowd to receive herself and later Japanese Wallpaper much more warmly than if she’d gone on without mentioning it.

Despite a short set she also managed to sneak in a little political agenda, but frankly in this part of town, was mostly just preaching to the choir. With a body of work on the smaller size, Montaigne has an almost surprising amount of truly great songs, and is a performer already bigger than the venues she plays.

Japanese Wallpaper finally graced the stage, calm and cool, and nothing short of remarkable in his ensembles.

His music strikes the perfect balance between simplicity and complexity, a sound you can really sit in rather than just experience from the outside. His performance is one you can get lost in, easily find yourself gone to the sound and ambience, and if he didn’t occasionally punctuate his set with banter, it’d be over in one long odyssey of noise.

Still a tad green in his stage presence (just a tiny, tiny bit), he strikes you as the kind of guy who would take control of the music at a house party and play the aux cord instead of putting a new song on. Regardless, his music is awesome, and a must see.


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