The art of attending a gig solo: NO ZU makes it easy.
The sheer amount of energy and happenings up on stage does not give anyone room to think about what’s going down in the crowd. In fact, with so many members and instruments crowding the stage, you could get up there, whip out an instrument and you’d probably go unnoticed. Let’s break it down: two percussionists, one drummer, two singers, one keyboardist, one bass guitarist and three on brass. And! Two backup dancers!
They barely had room on the tiny stage, basically one cubic metre to work with each, squished behind instruments. They were also dressed all in black, making them blend right into nothing, and were frankly overshadowed by singers Becky Sui Zhen and Daphne Camf, who had their own girl band dance moves going. It was like Romy and Michelle at their high school prom with the hair whipping and wearing dresses I very much would have worn to my year 12 formal. The overall effect was amazing.
As for the male members of the band, think back to that pivotal Girls episode starring Hannah at a coke-fuelled club wearing this bright yellow mesh top with nothing underneath. A number of them were rocking this style. Killing it with the pop culture references today.
I love a good themed band. Flight Facilities with their gorgeous aviation theme or Client Liaison with their out-and-out embracement of the 90s. NO ZU is all about mythology and paganism. Each song is so long and erratic, they almost take on a religious incantation feeling, helped by the vocal manipulation that makes leader Nicolaas Oogjes’ vocals deep and booming, and the girls’ chanting calls over the top. And of course, those banging percussions.
But while their music can get very heady and deep, I can honestly say the stage that night at Max Watt’s looked like what goes on in a closed karaoke room with me and my friends. The over the top dancing and general silliness, especially coming from the brass section, exemplified this for me. Which is why NO ZU is such a contagious and inviting must-see live act at the moment.
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia.
Latest album: Afterlife, out February 2016.
Sounds like: Cassius’ new song ‘Action‘ featuring Cat Power and Mike D sounds like extraordinarily like NO ZU.
Say what? A mixture of hand weights, Greek cuisine and the afterworld.
Exclusively hand-picked just for you, by Jane.