Orsome Welles are an enigmatic progressive five-piece hailing from Melbourne. Their bold sound continues to grow along with their career. In light of their latest EP release “Rise” which was released this past May, they have just spent weeks touring the country thanks to Wild Things Presents. For their final stop, they headed down to The Evelyn Hotel on Saturday to wrap up the tour.
Alternative rockers The Valley Ends kicked off the night at 8:10pm with a half hour long set. It was awesome to see that there were already around 40-50 patrons gathered in the venue. The term ‘Alternative’ (whilst appointed to those not easily boxed) is such a vague, vast term; one that does not accurately serve to describe the 5-piece’s sound. Instrumentally, the makeup is very melodic, with a baseline sound of modern rock with an added layer of funk in the styles of some of the drum sections, basslines and chord progressions. Vocally, Tim D’Agostino possesses tonal qualities somewhat reminiscent of Bert McCracken’s cleans in The Used’s earlier works, as well as Chester Bennigton’s cleans Linkin Park’s modern material. D’Agostino delivered melodies with clear emotional strain upon his face, making for a compelling performance. The drumming was very fluid, even despite a stick being momentarily dropped, the continuation was very smooth; blink and you’d have missed it. They played tracks from their EP “Falls”, including “Transoceanic”, “Avolition”, “Clarity” and “Lindblom”. The EP was noted as being available for free download via the band’s Bandcamp page. A few new tracks from their upcoming album where also played, including one that was announced as having never been played before; although the titles of such were unclear, which is not ideal for promoting new material. The band displayed a humble attitude, welcoming the crowd to provide feedback after their set.
Transience took the stage at 9:00pm, bringing with them an atmospheric fog which at points became like a flashing rainbow haze amongst the lights, bringing a vibrant essence to their stage presence. They filled the venue with their own progressive fusion of heavy rock and metal, blurring the lines between. Their sound ranges from melodic rock to hardcore in essence, at times simultaneously. Their variation in time signature provided depth and richness; hitting you like a wave of layers. It could even be comparable to top and basal notes present in wine. Robert Cuzens displayed an impressive lung capacity with his ability to prolong and sustain notes whilst transitioning melody into screams that would build climatically. The tonal qualities of such I found comparable to that of Jared Leto, but also hints of Gotye in softer sections; which is to say Cuzens’ vocal range does not fall short on texture. Luke Mastrocola injects an element of groove into his drumming style.
Qlaye Face clocked in at 9:50pm, quickly captivating the room, which now has an even spread of patrons. The four-piece alt-prog outfit are a fusion impressively hard to define, and though I had not previously heard of them, I truly would love to see them play a larger set. Their sound is effortlessly consuming, and I found myself thinking how bigger venues with rich acoustic values would really serve to grow their live performance into next-level. It’s the kind of sound you hear and just know is destined for greater things. The extensive melodic values encompassed a strong emotive quality which was delicate and soothing. Cameron Bobbitt’s vocal skill really stood out with his unique vibrato and tremolo structures. There was a consistent essence of almost tribal like hymns in Bobbitt’s high notes, which soared throughout the venue. He also has a certain tone about his voice that strongly reminds me of Thom Yorke. At one point of the set it was noted that guitarist of 2 years Liam Bellman-Sharpe would be departing to America, which is somewhat of a shame after having seen his impressive technical skill. His guitar playing harmonized collaboratively with the vocals, humming with ambient echoes and delays. At one point it actually sounded like a person softly wailing, which is nothing short of incredible. Further adding a unique touch to their flavour; Nyle Gibbens plays a 6-stringed bass, which was equal parts fascinating to observe, and satisfying in the added depth of sound it created. Petrus Humme rounded out the sound with his upbeat drumming, naturally coaxing movement among the crowd.
Finally Orsome Welles hit the stage at 10:50pm, although Michael Stowers was first to grace the stage with a solo acoustic performance of “Not Me” whilst the rest of the band prepared (to which members of the crowd sang along). Things livened quickly as they entered into the tracks “Build a World” and “Fool”. Next fans were treated to “Swim”, whilst they swayed along as Stowers seemingly conducted such with soft floaty hand gestures. It became quickly apparent that his vocal performance (and furthermore the entire band’s sound), like any skilled artist, exceeds their studio recordings. Boy, do they deliver! They continued on with “Crash and Burn” and “Canon”, before moving into what would be a highlight performance of “Maestro”. Revisiting the notion of musical conduction, Stowers informed the crowd that he “was going to need a bit of conduction” and that audience members could choose to either conduct or be conducted. The crowd enthusiastically chimes in to accompany Stowers for the “la la la la la” section. They have such a collectively high-octane stage presence, oozing with passion and rife with energy. This reflected well in the audience, which has not a moment of stillness throughout the set. This seems to largely be attributed to the variety in groove present in the individual and collective musical structures in the guitar riffs Nick Toohey and Steven Angell deliver. Newest member and bassist Matt Manders has eased himself comfortably into his place within the band, providing a layer of deep tonal quality to the string components of songs. He injects energy and entertainment value into their performance with his full bodied stomping and spinning around the stage in accordance with rhythm as he played. The set progressed on with the tracks “Elara”, “Negative Owe”, “Father’s Eyes” and “Want You to Know”, before drawing to a conclusion with “Rise Again”. The crowd only increased in rowdiness as the set went on, and I too found myself swept away in the harmonious wave. I would like to stress that Stowers possesses a real unique diction and vocal phrasing in his vocals. At times the tones resent reminded me of Matt Corby’s powerful voice, and even a hint of Meatloaf. The band went on to perform an encore of “Home Sweet Home” before wrapping things up with a heartfelt thank you to the crowd, and acknowledgement for the fact the band had apparently been looking forward to the Melbourne show all tour, and evidently they were not disappointed, given the crowd were informed that they had been the best.
Orsome Welles are certainly a group to follow with a close eye as they are bound to flourish the more they continue to expand their performance. Given that they appear to have played their entire catalogue within the one set, it is clear that they do not skimp on showmanship!