Floodlights @ The Windmill, Brixton – 14/09/2023

In conclusion of their whirlwind summer tour, Australian indie rockers Floodlights bid the country farewell in style at Brixton’s iconic Windmill venue.

Fresh off the back of their latest album Painting of My Time, the band have spent the last couple of months tearing up UK and European festivals. By the time they returned to London for their final two shows at the Sebright Arms and The Windmill, the resulting buzz had sold out both dates.

The room was filled early to catch a stripped back set from Aussie contemporaries Expiry, whose jokingly-termed ‘Simon and Garfunkel’ set showcased some well-honed songwriting and earnest lyricism. A sold-out Windmill show certainly feels sold-out, and there were many craning necks as the band emerged.

Floodlights’ sound is freewheeling and sun-baked, but given a strong sense of purpose by frontman Louis’ impassioned vocals. The band’s writing is informed deeply by nationality, and the songs deal openly and honestly with coming to terms with the varied landscapes and cultures of Australia. Themes of the country’s beauty are countered with the blunt truth of the nation’s dark past, and the result is a great musical study of the state of things.

This strong musical identity attracted a crowd to fit, and the Aussies in the crowd dominated with voices and arms raised. Wild harmonicas and bellowing brass embellish the sound, giving a feverish brightness to the rugged instrumentation. The whole set is very evocative, bringing to mind winding coastal roads and dust tracks stretching into the distance under the blaze of an unrelenting sun.

An encore of the band’s most beloved track ‘Nullarbor’ concluded the evening triumphantly, ending a long and significant European stint for Floodlights. Here’s hoping their return to this isle is a swift one.

Words: Dan Webster // Photo: Maclay Heriot

‘Painting of My Time’ is out now. Stream or purchase the album via Bandcamp.

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