The entirety of Mojo’s was full-blown vibing out to the “ear stinging” jazz-disco fusion supplied by nine sunglass-wearing men in triple white leather and denim. Mojo’s and its red velvet walls set the perfect scene for a night full of avant-garde listeners to get down to some equally whack tunes. The aesthetics of the sharply dressed Melbournians only added to the intensity of teeth-gritting bass lines, punchy horns, 80’s kit fills, harmonised backing vocals, and a hell of a lot of improvisation.
If you hadn’t heard Sex On Toast before this gig and were expecting the advertised “hard edge jazz-swing,” you had something else coming. The genre-bending set exemplified the band’s brilliant musicianship and versatility. Energetic 80’s disco had everyone on their toes ready for the next big guitar lick.
The uniquely smooth jazz kept the audience strung, with exceptional improvisation on trumpet and keys. They adapted chant-like call and response, all too reminiscent of funk icons Sly and the Family Stone. Modern electronica undertones were also present with experimental vocal filters and pedals. It was a truly multi-genre music experience.
Squished into the relatively small Mojo’s stage, lead vocalist Louis King, with a tone as full as INXS’ Michael Hutchence, didn’t shy away from jumping off stage to get real tight with fans. As though the crowd wasn’t absorbed enough by the funk in front of their eyes, slightly homoerotic choreography kept punters completely absorbed throughout the wild set. Notably, backing vocalist Zak Pidd took lead in the boogie department, not seeming to add much to the music component—but we’re not even mad.
When the gig wrapped up, the crowd was left with all types of goofy looking smiles as Sex On Toast smashed all expectations. With mouths full of chunky post-Mojo’s hotdogs, most stuck around to have a yak about the masterpiece just witnessed. We can only hope Sex On Toast will be back soon to play bigger and better gigs.