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Sheppard

Timothy Nelson And The Infidels

Amplifier Bar

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fantastic vibes were on offer at Amplifier Bar courtesy of the feel good outfit Sheppard. On the final stretch of a tour that has taken them across the globe, and having only arrived from Amsterdam a few days earlier, this collectively sexy group injected some sorely needed summer time vibes into the Perth atmosphere with their outrageously fun brand of catchy yet versatile pop. Sheppard consists of three charismatic and intensely musical siblings, George, Amy and Emma Sheppard, and are joined by the additional talents of two equally skilled guitarists and a precise and powerful drummer.

Before this colourful collaboration rocked the stage, Perth’s very own insanely talented masters of rock n’ roll, Timothy Nelson And The Infidels, warmed up the crowd with their well honed and attention-demanding style. Timothy Nelson, the front man and envy inducing multi-instrumentalist, endeared the crowed to him with a relaxed and entertaining demeanour. Possessing amazing vocal range, from meaty mids to a startlingly well controlled falsettos along with a truly amping musicality behind the keys, the band moved from high point to high point over a well selected and balanced set. Each band member performed with great precision, and the lead guitarist’s precise use of effects added some great sonic textures to the mix. For the final song, Let Her Go, Mr Nelson brought the mic stand down with him to crowd level, enticing the punters to get intimate with a sing-a-long that was truly uplifting.

It was Sheppard’s time to shine and they sauntered onto the stage in outfits reflecting their energetic and modern style;  a combination of sequins and Hawaiian shirts alongside more traditional rock band garb. While their sound is certainly friendly to the radio, this is not to say that there wasn’t significant depth and thought in their compositions. Occasionally sexualised lyrics from blue haired bombshell and lead singer Amy Sheppard were presented without smut and were instead indicative of a bold confidence, telling a story of coming into one’s own power. The lyrics of lead man George Sheppard played on slightly more bitter-sweet topics which were a perfect match for his strong bluesy vocal lines. In line with this often bluesy aesthetic, some surprise harmonica from Amy added a wonderful rustic feel and was offset brilliantly by equally well constructed dance tunes which managed to shake even the most winter-frigid Perth music lover. The youngest sister Emma Sheppard was proficient and eye-catching in her role as bassist, and came together with her sister for some wonderful vocal harmonies that were almost reminiscent of the Motown era.

Sheppard’s sound seems to really represent their origins on the sunshine coast with its almost tropical energy and you could swear the humidity started to rise when they started to get pumping. Clearly possessing an immense amount of combined song writing talent, it was obvious why their prolific output has seen them gain fans across the globe. While you may have to wait until their next time around to catch all their fine selves back on a Perth stages, after experiencing one of their shows you’ll want them to lead you home too.

_ JAMES HANLON

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