Reviewed on Friday April 11

‘Pop’ needn’t be a dirty word and it’s certainly not in the hands of Architecture In Helsinki. Excellent material from new LP Now + 4EVA was delivered with plenty of feel-good factor and just the right amount of kitsch.

World’s End Press must be one of the hardest-working bands in Australia right now, and their significant time on the road promoting their debut album has certainly been of benefit to their live show. They’re thrilling to watch and the energy of lead singer John Parkinson easily infiltrates a sparse crowd. If WEP are supporting at the next gig you’re due to see, you must get there early enough to enjoy them.

Architecture In Helsinki’s pastel wardrobe – echoing the colours on the new album’s artwork – was all the more arresting after WEP’s grungy look. It was an ideal visual accompaniment to cartoony electro opener ‘In The Future’. An all-female three-piece brass section (The Helsinki Horns) and some shoulder-and-stepping choreography added a Motown element to ‘Before Tomorrow’.

‘Escapee’ upped the joy levels among the audience, a great many of which were now in a silly enough mood to join Cameron Bird in singing the high-pitched, drawn-out refrain of “Taking me for a ri-i-i-i-ide” with hands raised. A cod-reggae cover of Tame Impala’s ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ slotted in perfectly towards the end of the set between the cheesy line dancing of ‘Do The Whirlwind’, one of the few older tracks played, and stupidly catchy new track ‘I Might Survive’. Kellie Sutherland’s voice has never sounded sweeter.

Architecture In Helsinki’s art school background is obvious in their attention to detail. The little touches – coordinating Kellie’s bangles with the rest of the band members’ clothing; the addition of the horns – really added to the sense of fun. The band left any earnestness at the door and delighted in presenting an excellent set of new songs. It all rubbed off on a crowd which made for the exit probably taking life a bit less seriously than it did a couple of hours before.

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