Bear family review- The Kite String tangle

The Kite String Tangle @ Oxford Arts Factory 14th February


Photos by Alistair Rathbone

Aaaah, Valentine’s Day. Full of wistful young lovers frolicking in the park, buying roses and snap-chatting nudes. What better way to finish off a day of overblown affection and sincerity than to listen to a curly-haired crooner bust out some emotional electronic anthems to a sold out room of Sydney couples.

That curly headed crooner in question is none other than the big story of 2013 himself, The Kite String Tangle, aka Danny Harley. The man has beaten Yeezy in the Triple J Hottest 100, sold out almost every date on his debut solo tour and delivered some of the cheesiest lyrics of 2013. We are in for a night.

Opening up was the familiar voice of Nicole Millar, known mostly for her collabs with Peking Duk and Cosmo’s Midnight. A fantastic voice, but stage presence was low and needs to work on her ‘white gurl movez’. The fake British accent during her cover of SBTRKT’s ‘Hold On’ was also pretty cringe-worthy.

Following up was another much-hyped electronic act, Kilter. Armed with just a drumstick powered sample pad, Kilter knocked out what seemed like one big, long carribbean dance party track from start to finish. I never want to hear a steel drum again. A sweaty start to the evening.


Finally, the act every teenage girl in the audience was waiting for, The Kite String Tangle took to the stage, his impressive new live setup setting the mood with some Grizzly Bear-esque lightbulbs scattered across the stage, flickering in time with his down tempo indie-electronica.

Any doubt of Harley’s live chops were soon put to rest, the man shows an onstage maturity and musical ability of a far more experienced act. His relaxed sampling and dreamy vocals set the perfect scene for the night, whilst potentially ruining the nights of all the boyfriends in the audience as female eyes began to glaze over. The smooth samples in the track ‘Commotion’ particularly stood out. The set as a whole however, seemed to meander along without extracting any further excitement from some of the less avid fans at the back. It may be a by-product of the sheer onslaught of down tempo, moody electronica floating about at the moment, but their certainly seemed to be a common theme of ‘same-same’ throughout the set.

Harley closed the set with his biggun, ‘Given the Chance’. It was exactly the kick in the pants the crowd needed, with everyone eager to get their boogie on to the euphoric chorus of ‘Girl you make me crazy’ (see: ‘cheesiest lyrics’). It was the kind of unanimous vote of approval that typifies a MASSIVE hit, and off the back of that alone, The Kite String Tangle is sure to see big things in 2014.

Gotta be ‘Given the Chance’. The track is an unabashed hit and it showed when the bartender starting losing his shit during the track.


“You guys are fuckin’ crazy”- Sydney Local Kilter was having the time of his life.


Alistair is the founder of Bear Family. Alistair resides in Sydney and can be found wandering the streets searching for bargains and peppermint tea. Come and say Hi, he's nice.

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