The Verse’s Lennon Craig reviews Oh Pep!’s show at The Latest Music Bar on October 25th.
When I arrived at The Latest Music Bar, I was optimistic. It’s not often that I get to discover a new venue and band at the same time. Hidden away on Manchester Street, just away from the bustle of St James’s Street, the bar was largely nondescript and deserted on this brisk autumnal evening. I’d read that the venue had two floors though, so figured everyone else attending had been proactive and been down to see the support act rather than hang around outside and be buffeted by the sea breeze.
And to be fair, that’s what they had done. It’s just a pity that there was only about 20 people in attendance, not counting the bar staff and the soundman.
As pleasant as it was having a seat of choice at a gig, it’s not an experience I’d ever choose, and not one that I’d recommend to a friend.
And what a shame it was, too, as Oh Pep!’s unique indie inspired multi-instrumental folk rock whipped throughout the venue with equal measures of furiosity and beautiful tenderness. Ephemeral folk shanties echoed around the tiny cavern to the sparse few, culminating in the intimidatingly infectious Doctor Doctor, a track which has garnered it’s deserved praise in Australia, even if it’s yet to make much of an impression on this side of the globe.
Oh Pep! straddle the line between traditional and contemporary, combining complex instrumentalism with pop hooks, and with sickly sweet vocals to boot. And they manage it without losing their integrity and sounding contrived. It’s just a shame no one was around to see it this time.
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