Dead Letter Chorus, not to be confused with Dead Letter Circus, played the Northcote Social club last Friday. What’s with this Dead letter thing, anyway? Must be something to do with Dead Letters. Support band The Hello Morning hold themselves with the classic regard of the semi-professional and play tight, multi-layered, simple, country-blues-rock. Steady drums, songs about love and the singer channels the love child of Bob Dylan and someone who’s not Bob Dylan. Jim Morrison, I’m looking at you.



They sound a little bit like Band of Horses meets the Black Sorrows meets fashionable suits meets The Middle East- very pleasant to listen to, but their sound is slightly derivative and missing some of the panache of the aforementioned influences. Despite some very beautiful moments, they might really benefit from some experimentation in the rhythm and melody department. Not bad at all, but too far inside the safe zone.

Dead Letter Chorus, within the first couple of seconds, demonstrated why they were the headliners. Their opening numbers had fast, intricate drums, underpinning shimmering, disembodied noise. Texturally rich, large and dreamy “Triple J” sounds won me over and assuaged any doubts I had about their curious name. All instruments were used without waste or overkill and the keyboard blended lovingly with the guitars. Harmonized vocals built up their wistful, sophisticated indie-folk/rock and I wondered if I might like to take a refreshing walk through a meadow of some sort. Think daffodils.



Singer Cameron Potts won the crowd over with consistently charming banter- “You’re all so good-looking… we asked for that”- and the foxy vocalist Gabrielle Huber never lost her look of quiet and earnest concentration. DLC’s sound seems to come from a very similar place to that of The Hello Morning and the way they carry themselves and their novel execution of familiar sounds puts them in a great place. Dead Letter Chorus don’t play music that is anywhere near a ‘sharp edge’, but their professional ease and ability to express their personalities through their music means they should be around for some time to come. Go, Sydney!


Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Friday September 30. 2011



Words: Simon Toppin

Tags: dead letter chorus, indie folk, live review, melbourne, music, music writing, northcote social club, pop, rock, the hello morning, triple j

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: