Smith’s Alternative – 8th Oct, 2014

CMC Wednesday @ Smith’s – Darling Mermaid Darlings, Dylan Hekimian,  Alex and Joel
by James Kent

I always feel sorry for the bands that play Smiths on acoustic soup night, because for one night a month the food coop is turned into a veritable black hole that sucks in all the bearded hipster types for miles around, leaving venues like Smiths sadly bereft of both punters and ironically moustachioed arguments over which Jack Kerouac poem is the best (trick question! The answer is always Howl). This is most unfortunate because it means little heard gems like Darling Mermaid Darlings remain hidden. A side project of Pocket Fox lead vocalist Luciana Harrison, DMD heads in a more sultry direction than pocket fox, with songs like On the Prowl and Like a Woman positively dripping with sex appeal and demonstrating vocal and musical talent which can sometimes be lost amongst the Pocket Fox hubhub.

Ever the judgemental type, when Dylan Hekimian took to the stage after DMD in all his dreadlocked and industrially pierced glory I pegged him as one of those barefooted john butler rip-offs who corners you at a party and won’t (for the love of god) shut up about their life changing acid trip and burning man last year. Fortunately for all of us, this was a judgement proven wrong fairly quickly, not leastwise because he was wearing shoes. Dylan is easily the most talented percussive guitarist I’ve seen live, with a unique voice and style that’s well suited to the musical direction he’s heading in. My only possible bone to pick is that sometimes the percussive element can distract from the fact that he is clearly an excellent guitarist of the regular variety as well, and certainly one I’d be happy to see again.

The final act of the evening was the ever understated Alex and Joel, a creatively named local guitar/cello duo who, while not making a name for themselves in a literal sense, certainly seem to be doing so in a figurative sense, with a flawless combination of cello and Xavier Rudd style guitar, which definitely isn’t harmed by the fact that they could also be joint mayors of Babe-town (Disclaimer: not a real town). Try as I might, I can’t find a bad thing to say about these guys, because apparently distractingly good looking doesn’t count, and I sure as hell can’t fault their music, with their song I’ll be Fine one of my favourites in particular. With an EP release date set for the 21st of November this year, this is definitely a band worth checking out.

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