Following a huge run of shows including a headline appearance at Byron Bay’s Splendour in the Grass, Simon Green, AKA Bonobo graced Perth’s Metro City stage with a fully orchestrated set off the back off his new album, Migration.
The highly anticipated return of the legendary electronic soundscape engineer saw Green bringing with him a full band to compliment his bass riff wizardry and MIDI-launched cacophony. The grandiose approach to Bonobo’s live set was apparent from the get-go with the opener to his latest album introducing the set. The song Migration began with a repetitious piano pattern; a pendulum-like rhythm that hypnotised the audience, preparing them for a dirty breakbeat drum embellishment and crunchy 808 sub bass. From here it was apparent what the attendees were in for: a consistent wall of sound that filled every inch of the room.
With effortless ease the band’s final member then graced the stage. Szjerdene first appeared with Green on his 5th studio album, The North Borders. Since then it seems she has become an essential member of Bonobo’s touring line-up, lending her unwritten prowess to all the vocal songs in the set; She made “Break Apart” her own, holding a candle to the song’s original singer, Rhye. As the song rounded off to a steady, filtered beat, the band briefly departed the stage leaving Green to exhibit his solo performance of Kiara and Kong; a crucial, eclectic duo off the album Black Sands.
The set stayed true to the purpose of the tour. The majority of songs off Migration where exhibited, only peppered with crowd favourites and singles like “Cirrus” and “Flashlight”. However, the entire show was a journey through Green’s creative process; a true depiction of the worldly and adventurous nature of the latest record. Songs such as “Ontario” where treated to makeover to the tune of a glorious brass section, lifting the crowd’s spirits even higher.
The visual display, an animated spectacle of the work of photographer Neil Krug (Tame Impala, Lana Del Ray, ASAP Rocky), morphed and blinked with the music. The audience was transported through deserts, mountains and forests, only to arrive back in Green’s capable musical arms. The subtle and discrete instrumentation that incorporates some of Bonobo’s more withdrawn passages were delicious ear candy, even if they were almost completely drowned out by the crowd taking it as a cue to have a boisterous conversation about their weekend with their neighbour.
Bonobo terminated their Australian tour in Perth and it was apparent that no energy was spared. The eight musicians brought their all, standing as triumphant troubadours of this unique and often underrated catalogue of music. I am very excited to see what Green has in store for 2018, his success appears far from over and his live show quickly becoming one of legend amongst punters.