ALLAH-LAS @ Rosemount Hotel gets 7/10

Allah-Las @ Rosemount Hotel
w/ Nick Allbrook
Tuesday, February 25, 2020


Among the very crowded competition, nobody commits to the 60s surf psych sound nor carries it off better than Allah-Las. They showed why at the Rosemount on Tuesday night, with a tight selection of twangy grooves that did not let up.

Nicholas Allbrook

Opening proceedings was the tireless Nick Allbrook. Allbrook showcased some of his solo material in a playful set that saw him embrace his inner 80s rockstar, crooning and preening and walking out into the crowd on one occasion. He still had time for some touching balladry though, with Karrakatta Cemetery being a highlight if for the specificity of its subject matter alone. Vertigo was another highlight, largely instrumental with some cool use of delay effects and volume swelled synth tones.


After a protracted wait, Allah-Lahs came on and immediately got down to business. This was a show with little fanfare, stage banter kept to a minimum as the boys letting the music speak for itself. They opened with the instrumental Sacred Sands which set the stage well for the hour of blissed-out surf rock that was to follow. Busman’s Holiday introduced frontman Miles Michaud on vocals as he snarled his lines with a casualness that would make Mick Jagger proud. He dipped back into this style later for the fan favourite Catalina, a moody midtempo ballad which was carried off excellently.

The band sampled a cross-section of its whole discography with less emphasis on the latest album’s material than expected. Thankfully their earlier material is consistently groovy and joyous surf rock that had the audience entranced. Fish On The Sand, with its ringing keys, was a standout. Elsewhere, old favourites such as Sandy and especially early 60s Merseybeat banger Had It All got the crowd swaying and singing along.


Early in the set came the one-two punch of Prazer em Te Conhecer and In The Air from last year’s excellent LAHS. The laid-back charm of these latest cuts was lost on stage a bit, as the band was more focussed on energy and groove. Light Yearly from the same album came later in the set and was given a much heavier, stompier rendition.

Above all throughout the set, it was great to see the interplay between Michaud’s rhythm guitar and lead guitarist Pedrum Siadatian’s clever chord work. Siadatian should be a reference point for any guitarist that values taste over flash. His chord-based riffing and twangy bends always serviced the song as they danced around Michaud’s cerebral rhythm playing. This was best exemplified in fast-paced closer and fan favourite Could Be You. It was a fitting end to the set, a joyous blast of sun-kissed surf rock with Michaud’s vocal and fast skittering rhythm coming together against Siadatian’s chopping chords. As quickly as they had come on the band had made their exit in a set that, at a hair above an hour, was a tad too short. Thankfully this was enough time to make an impression in a crowd-pleasing and groovy time-capsule of a performance.


Photos by Adrian Thomson

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