Review: Cub Sport at Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth, 23 February 2018
Coming down the stairs to a roaring crowd at Jack Rabbit Slims, Cub Sport walked on stage past their backdrop of choice – the band name in bright capital letters. Oh so simple, yet so instagram-able.
Frontman Tim Nelson, accompanied by band members Sam Netterfield and Zoe Davis, were all rocking the blonde bombshell look, likely influencing many to go home and join the platinum party. Damn you Cub Sport with your good looks, musical talent, and ability to rock platinum.
The band eased in with the gospel-like hymnal ‘Oh Lord’ for their second Perth show on the BATS tour. The bright lights were, at times, momentarily blinding, but all added to the ethereal theme of the song and set.
Following with tracks ‘Hawaiian Party’ and ‘Only Friend’ the band amped up the energy for the night ahead. Nelson’s grooving got the crowd in the mood, heads bopping and shoulders swaying to the soft electronic sounds.
To describe the music of Cub Sport in as few words as possible, one would generally say ‘electronic-pop with a depressing undertone’. Many of their songs are beautiful in instrumentation as in their lyricism, but they often leave you with that punctured-heart or lump-in-your-throat feeling.
The groovy ‘I Can’t Save You’ saw everyone liven up, as Nelson grabbed his guitar and encouraged more movement from the crowd. Despite the saddening lyrics, the upbeat sound of the song is evidently what the crowd cared more for.
The band’s latest single, ‘Good Guys Go’, has had great success since its release with an accompanying video earlier this year. The live performance of the tune unfortunately didn’t live up to expectations. Nelson’s vocals, unlike usual, resembled a siren or fire alarm, or, as described by a crowd member, “a seven-year-old poorly playing the recorder”.
‘Give It To Me (Like You Mean It)’ saw all eyes gravitate to Nelson up on a pedestal as he climbed the stairs, illuminated by nothing but a single spotlight, with his transcendent performance leading the band up the homestretch.
Synth-pop tune ‘Temporarily’ was the perfect choice to bring everyone to the final high before crowd-favourite and undeniable tear jerker ‘Come On Mess Me Up’.
Cub Sport are a band not afraid to share their most intimate personal stories with fans as they experiment with genres from RnB to pop to gospel. Although their songs are gut wrenching, they are beautiful none the less. More band interaction would have only made this performance stronger, as many of the songs are written about the relationship between Nelson and Netterfield.
Overall a striking and melancholic performance by the up-and-comers from Brisbane.