Review: Ecca Vandal at Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, 10 November 2017
Ecca Vandal is currently ripping venues to shreds as she tours across the country, and Oxford Art Factory may have taken the bare brunt of it last night. Vandal and her three-piece band have seamlessly mixed punk songwriting with pop sensibilities and thick, hip-hop inspired synths; a winning blend that makes for a killer live show.
The band proved they know how to work a crowd from the very start, adding layers of brooding synths as each instrument joined the swell, building tension and anticipation in an audience that did not yet know what they were in for. The verse of the opening track pulled people towards the stage and had everyone nodding their heads, only for the chorus to explode moments later and incite frantic jumping in the now fully engaged audience.
Vandal only continued to escalate over the course of the night with bangers like ‘Closing Ceremony’ and the politically charged ‘Price of Living’, which, sadly, is more relevant than ever.
The band tactfully broke up the intense, punk energy with slower, more pop focused songs like ‘End of Time’ and ‘Your Orbit’, giving the crowd a chance to catch their breath without losing their attention.
Vandal’s set list showed off the band’s impressive ability to merge genres and sounds – through the whole performance, members were swapping between their instruments to sequencers and synth pads, and never once did it feel clunky, forced or off-balance. It all added texture to the songs and made for a visually engaging set.
They closed the show with the crowd favourite ‘Broke Days, Party Nights’, which really topped off the energy of an already exceptional evening. Vandal worked the room one last time, literally getting down with the crowd, passing the mic to anyone who wanted to sing. Her energy throughout the whole set was worth the price of admission alone.
Ecca Vandal and her band have drawn from a diverse list of influences to craft their sound and live experience, without ever leaning too heavily in one direction and becoming derivative. The result is an impressive display of energetic stage performance, intricate yet catchy songwriting, and a commanding, dance-able sonic experience. Vandal is only on the way up, and it will be great to see what heights she can reach.