It’s a sunny yet cold and blustery day and thanks to the ‘heads up’ from a blog reader (thanks Warwick) I’m here at Exhibition Park in Canberra to take my first look at a Country Rock outfit from Newcastle in New South Wales – Hurricane Fall .
My first task is to familiarise myself with the band and their roles -Pepper Deroy (Vocals and Bass), Jesse Vee (Vocals and Guitars), Lachlan Coffey (Percussion), Tim Hickey (Guitars and Keys) and Luke Wheeldon (Guitars).
Reputation, well it seems as though Hurricane Fall have a large and growing fan base in the Country Music sector but are relatively unheard of outside of that by comparison. Most notably at this years Tamworth Country Music Festival they attracted a full house at The Longyard venue and security had to adjust strategies to cope with the overflow of patrons waiting to see them.
Music, as mentioned previously their genre is Country Rock and this year they are working on a debut album – ‘Everything’. In February 2019 they released the single ‘Everything’ and a video to accompany it.
Now in terms of full disclosure..Country is just not my thing, never has been but I’m open to extending my boundaries and challenging myself to explore all genres and it’s opportunities like these that help me support that goal.
This afternoon I’ve donned my best ‘Urbanesque’ mentality and come here to the 2019 Rise Above Cancer – Convoy event to partake in the unfamiliar…at the very least I can expect some cowboy candy…right girls!! I’ve never heard of Hurricane Fall before so you’ll forgive me if I can’t mention the set listing today.
I’ve found myself a good seat on the grass in front of the stage – full view from all angles so I’m not going to miss anything. The Convoy announcer has just finished up and the boys have taken their respective positions on stage…and here we go!
I pass an eye across the stage putting names to faces and scrutinising overall presence. Introductory tunes solidify their existence punching a big hole in the atmosphere and bringing the dance/bop factors of ones persona forward.
The punters around me move in closer and can be seen tapping and singing although reluctant to come out from under their rugs and jackets for a dance. There are smiles and head nods and I concede that those in attendance are the stronger ones and those who either are or will be the committed Hurricane Fall fans despite any adverse weather conditions.
Returning my focus to the stage Wheeldon has me captivated for a bit by the way he controls his playing. Visually his muscular arms exude strength on the downward stroke and somehow you feel a gentleness being relayed to the strings of an instrument that clearly is his love. He entertains with his delivery and stretches out to the audience through playing solo riffs reflecting a decorative element and grounding a ‘bad boy’ image for us.
Deroy and Vee provide a great combination of solo and duo vocal textures with complimentary tonalities Vee’s being a shade higher than Deroy’s. Dictation in delivery is not cluttered by ‘fuzz and slur’ and song messages are clear. Both show their well developed musicianship skills on their guitars but for me it’s somehow secondary to the vocals which I really enjoyed.
My god – I think I just tapped to a country song involuntarily..the inner me being taken by the punch in the percussion and rhythm sections…is this a turning point??
Hickey plays the guitar for the most part but there are a few tracks when he swaps his strings for keys. I’m partial to keys and these moments were a great respite from the combinations of guitar playing on stage. Although I could hear the keys, I feel they could have been amplified more but that’s a sound issue and not one related to Hickey’s playing which took me to another realm within the song and bought me back down again. One must remember the wind factor today as well.
Coffey and Deroy worked together in tight unison locking in to produce a solid rhythmic foundation for the group. Coffey always in the moment with timing and comfortable with the song he was playing. The combination could be viewed as two friends jogging along together..each acutely aware of where the other was yet able to adapt and give space for embellishments on individual levels before rejoining.
What did I think of Hurricane Fall overall??
Well I’ve not yet been convinced that buying a ticket to a country music festival or a Keith Urban show would be in my best interest BUT I am convinced that I should and would buy one to see Hurricane Fall again.
The music has light and dark shades, mostly it’s playful and a lot of fun. Tunes are well orchestrated and the group themselves tight and flawless. There’s no pretense in delivery on stage – a slow song is what it’s meant to be and invokes the right emotions and responses and likewise a faster tune.
How Hurricane Fall have not had a following outside of the Country Music circle is a mystery but if you’re reading this – spread the word – every little bit helps right!
I managed to get a video…well actually a part video where the wind wasn’t blowing the sound away. It’s a live performance of the single ‘Everything’ and I’ve attached it below. If you like what you hear then you can listen to the whole track and others on Spotify or visit the Hurricane Fall YouTube page to see the official video.
Hat’s off to you Hurricane Fall…I had a fantastic time and really enjoyed what you bought before me…I’m going to make sure to our paths cross again!!!