The Aston Shuffle – Photographs Tour @ The Corner Hotel

Just over five months ago, The Aston Shuffle released their much anticipated album, Photographs. My obsession with this album, one of my favourites for the year, grew very quickly as I played the CD over and over and over again in my car. I was quick to review one of the many hit singles, “Never Take It Away”, and I awaited their September album tour with overwhelming eagerness. Finally, the day had come!

Unfortunately for me, amateur journalism comes second to my studies and the gig I was so looking forward to happened to coincide with a week in which I had enjoyed very little sleep (it also didn’t help that the set started at 11:50pm… thanks a lot, guys!). Luckily, The Aston Shuffle brought so much energy that I was wide awake and jumping about within seconds. They opened with back-to-back favourites, “No Place Like Home” and “Never Take It Away”, generating an instant response from the crowd. Guest vocalist Marcus Azon was incredibly impressive, both vocally and in terms of stage presence, and was an early highlight in a set that was full of them. The whole crowd was into it from the get-go and things wouldn’t die down for the rest of the night.

As Marcus left the stage, the boys jumped into another fan favourite, “Comfortable”, and kept the buzz going. Another guest vocalist, Cultra, stepped out onto the stage to help with The Aston Shuffle’s most recent hit single, “Back & Forth”. “Unique” or “quirky” might be understatements to describe Cultra’s appearance and general presence. An interesting top piece with nipples drawn on complimented a crazy persona that certainly garnered a lot of attention. It may seem harsh to compare the two but she didn’t quite stand up vocally when compared to Elizabeth Rose, the featured artist on the studio release. Admittedly, Cultra’s quirks grew on me and I thought her performance in “Ordinary Love” was fantastic.

After playing “Sunrise”, the guys had a chat with the crowd. They made sure to let us know how much they love Melbourne which, despite being incredibly generic and clichéd, gave another burst of energy to the already animated fans. They proudly announced their drunkenness, appropriately celebrating the last night of their tour, before asking “who’s ready to feel some feelings tonight?” Marcus took back to the stage with his fantastic voice before it was Cultra’s turn again to sing along with a remix of London Grammar’s “Wasting My Young Years”. The remix was a huge crowd pleaser, many clearly huge supporters of the English threepiece.

Before leaving the stage again, Cultra got her crazy back on. She poured water over her head and then yelled a most awkward of YOLOs. Entertaining, yes, but definitely an “oh dear” moment… Before the big finale, there was a bit more crowd interaction. The boys made a shoutout to the “dickhead who tried to fucking crowd surf”, all in good nature of course, and hyped the masses once more for a massive finish.

Joined one last time by Marcus, The Aston Shuffle played their massive hit and my personal favourite, “Tear It Down”. I have here, written in my notes, “simply epic” and there really is no other way to describe it. The whole building was shaking and a late appearance by Cultra in a mirror suit, beautifully mimicking the film clip, really capped off the perfect evening.

THE BREAKDOWN:

Hometown: Canberra, Australia
Latest Album: Photographs, released 28 March 2014
Sounds like: Empire of the Sun, Sneaky Sound System, Swedish House Mafia
Say what? Just go see them live and hope Cultra is performing… seriously, if you want some weird-ass shit (mixed with great music and energy, of course) you really need to see her in person.

Huggett out.

Setlist:
No Place Like Home
Never Take It Away
Comfortable
Back & Forth
Ordinary Love
Sunrise
You Really Got Me
Wasting My Young Years {London Grammar Remix}
Restart
Can’t Stop Now
Tear It Down

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