Review: The Vanns & Slow Turismo at Transit Bar

After a late start, the seemingly aptly named ‘Slow Turismo’ mounted the fabled Transit Bar stage. Wielding their instruments like weapons, the 5-piece ‘Turismo turned out to be anything but slow.

To describe their sound, one must imagine a tasty, homemade Sangria; two bottles of jazzy vibes meets six sliced servings of Two Door Cinema Club – squeeze some rock riffs in over the brass section of The Cat Empire, and you’ve got yourself a decent Saturday night.

Prior to the Chet-pocalypse that has struck the Australian music scene over the last year or two, it is rare to find a heavily bearded crooner with decent range. Slow Turismo has hairy falsetto in spades, basically there’s two dudes who sing real high and are probably twins. These Canberra locals can manage a commanding stage presence and can warm up anyone’s evening on the town.

Following the bristly baroque of the support act, The Vanns glided their way onto the stage with all the swagger of pub rock regulars.

For those easily prone to pastoral imaginings, the prominent blues guitar crossed with a Beach-Boys-esque surf rock motif invokes visions of waves, bonfires and toasting to the sunset. Jimmy Vann, the lead vocalist’s dreamy, sun-touched, golden locks certainly didn’t shatter this impression.

Fast fingering solos and a punchy, percussive, accompaniment achieved in bringing a sit-down crowd to their slightly intoxicated feet, with the layering of soulful, blues riffage on top of a shimmy-worthy 50’s rock-n’-roll rhythm was just catchy enough to even attract the attention of the hard-core pool crowd. Drawing on their earlier EP initially, there was quite a notable difference in the energy of both the performers and the crowd as the night progressed. By the time ‘Keep My Cool’, the latest single from their Scattered by Sundown EP, was played, the now swing dancing Transit patrons had reached peak form.

Truly these Kiama locals, kept the audience on their feet (and later on stage) through their self-chronology of releases, from soulful blues shredding all the way through to a head-banging, almost grunge finale.