Following a tour which propelled several times around our planet, this was Rhye’s first visit to Australia. The duo, one part Danish – instrumentalist Robin Hannibal – and other part Canadian – vocalist Mike Milosh, have been full pelt jetting about playing their debut “Woman” since its 2013 release. Finally, Rhye made a bee line for Sydney, bringing a 5 piece band to flesh out their deceptively intricate arrangements.
What a venue to open Rhye’s first Sydney concert. Oxford Art Factory gave the intimacy that Rhye’s music needs. When Mike Milosh gifts his gorgeously vulnerable croon, you want to feel it. OAF allowed this.
When Rhye open with “Verse”, a warm sigh of a track, Milosh is yet to be spotted. Cheekily the band establish a groove, playing for a good few minutes before Milosh appears. When he does, he starts singing, and everyone screams. Fair enough, his voice is an awesome thing, all earnest and breathless, with enough grit to empower his lyrics.
Early on, the band keep things straight forward. Despite the amount of instruments on stage, what struck was the amount of space in the mix. True to Rhye’s understated minimal vibe, the whole room was able to breath within the ebb and flow of set.
The set then detours into more sonic experimentation. Tracks extend, Milosh jumps on percussive elements to jam with the band’s violinist. A testament to Rhye’s fat-cutting, precision approach to playing, is that even their improvised sections were tight. Even when the band are loosening up, they still do it in a Rhye ‘way’- there are no wasted notes. Their distinct aural stamp makes up much of their charm, and the night of 18. October was no exception.
We all went home doing our best Milosh. There’s only one man with a voice like that though, and we were pretty darn lucky to hear it.
Photos by Nick McKinlay