Bonjah @ The Corner Hotel
Mitch David & The Dawn Chorus got the ball rolling at the Corner Hotel, a night to celebrate and farewell soon to be superstars Bonjah before they leave the continent to work on their much-anticipated new record. Trembling blues mixed with ultimate funk; Mitch David & The Dawn Chorus sported impressive bushman’s beards to complement their larger-than-life vocals. Twas a night of indefinable genres as Mitch David swung from grunge rock to pure folk and soul only to be followed up by Buckley Ward and their five piece dreamy pop magic. Chilled vocals and head bopping melodies abundant, the Melbourners hit the sweet spots through a set of their new baby So Pretend.
Relocating from New Zealand to Melbourne, Bonjah has ‘the nod’ from Rolling Stone as a band to watch… and watch them Vulture have. Originally Melbourne buskers, the four rockers (previously five) are now dipping into the five hundreds in terms of shows, luring in fans and collecting them like magnets as they trip around the country with their newest album Go Go Chaos, launched last July.
The first jolt of the set was met by girlie screams, blaring lights and plenty of good energy gushing from ‘Colours’ and title track ‘Go Go Chaos’. Front man Glenn Mossop’s vocal intensity and stage possession was unchanging and immediate regardless of the tempo of the song, and even through slower roots based numbers like ‘Sand’ there was no looking away or slinking off to the bar for most punters. There’s no mistaking the exuding force behind the madness that is Bonjah… just wait for guitarist Regan Lethbridge’s riff on ‘Lady Listen’ while Mossop sways and jigs, mike in hand, to Dan Chisholm’s jungle drums backed by Dave Morgan’s racy bass and watch as the whole stage steams.
‘Bring Back the Fire’ had the crowd in raptures but before long, Mossop skipped off stage before the encore leaving the band to a bluesy jam-a-thon as Lethbridge took the reins with his thawing vocals before the return of Mossop who fused Lethbridge’s song into the pulsating ‘Brother’. ‘Brother’ had the effect one would assume including but not limited to; marriage proposals, fainting, banshee screams, and front row chicks and dudes literally bowing their hands to a sweat drenched, nipple bearing Mossop. Cleaning up with ‘The White Line’ and the feel good ballad ‘Spin’, Bonjah said a sweet farewell to Melbourne, and Australia before they head off to record their new album, which will surely be drenched with even more genre defying force, as we eagerly await their return.