Review: Villain ‘Brand New Day’ Single Launch @ The Bird

Words by: Shirley Yeung

It was a dark, murky Thursday night in Northbridge; the streets were quieting down, the rush of traffic was slowly disappearing, and the clouds were settling in. It was the kind of night where you might’ve found yourself turning in for a relaxing night at home. Little did you know, The Bird was jam packed with music goers ready to start their journey, dancing into the night.

Crowds slowly began to gather and familiar faces were spotted filling in empty spaces here and there, eager to see the first act of the night. Indie alt-rock band Great Gable kicked us off with reggae-infused vibes and raspy vocals and instantly lit the joint up with their track ‘Leave your way’. Soon after, Fine Court took to the stage with their indie rock sounds, heavy instrumental, and delicate vocals, setting forth the great night that was to come.

With a half an hour break between each set the atmosphere was building up. You could feel the eagerness and excitement for Villain to start their set. Pint after pint, the room was slowly piling up with glasses and the second hand smoke from the courtyard was seeping into the venue, finding its way into our lungs. The scene was set. The stage was ready. The crowds gathered and waited. And four villains appeared before us.

They lit up the stage with their stunningly funky, rock vibes; I couldn’t help the smile that covered my face and the dancing that took over my body. Frontman Rowan Florence was rocking a modern day Beatles look in a suave suit and tie along with drummer Alexander Popoff-Asotoff. The pair entranced the stage with their melancholy, rock infused vocals while lead guitarist, Chris Mackenzie, mesmerized the crowd the entire night with some explosive guitar solos that no one wanted to hear come to an end.

Starting off with something from their EP, ‘Left behind’ wooed the crowd as the upbeat track got us all up and dancing, arms in the air and heads banging along. It was the sound of ‘Grass is Greener’ and ‘Fox Hunt’ that reminded us why we were all there. With a cheeky stage presence and a knack for quick banter, the stage slowly took a turn when ‘Brand New Day’ filled our earwaves and elevated the room.

Although there were a few technical difficulties throughout the night, where instruments overpowered the vocals, everything seemed to find its way in Villain’s set. Earlier on in the night, a friend had described to me that their sound was ‘like a Beatles mixed with Arctic Monkeys’ kind of vibe, something which I definitely agreed with. However, my opinion slowly began to change as the alt-rock sounds of ‘Pointed Guns’ began – I could tell that Villain was completely dominating their stage and making a sound of their own.

‘Just a Smile’ created the perfect ending to the set for some, but only just the start of the night for others as the crowd slowly dispersed, leaving the dancers behind and the smokers outside. The drinks were still flowing and the atmosphere was still alive. This was only the beginning.

You can purchase and/or stream Villain’s latest EP ‘The Other Side’ here: