Australian duo An Horse bring flamboyant energy to the Bay Area

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Canvas Media/Courtesy

The oddly-named Australian duo An Horse defied more than just grammar Saturday night in San Francisco. Vocalist and guitarist Kate Cooper teamed up with drummer Damon Cox to put on a charismatic performance at Bottom of the Hill where they headlined a show that included fellow rockers Poor Bailey and Steve Taylor.

Coming all the way from Brisbane, Australia, An Horse performed with enthusiasm and care. It was clear from the very first song that the two had spent much time choreographing and practicing their show, as Cooper’s guitar and Cox’s drums sounded together with what seemed like flawless timing. Without a word of introduction, An Horse began in perfect synchronism, startling the audience with the unassuming sounds of their new album Walls, which was released last month.

In song, An Horse recited personal lyrics speaking of romance and loss. With choruses like, “This is the song for the one that I love/I haven’t met him yet/But I’m quietly confident,” An Horse uses enigmatic phrases to surprise listeners despite speaking on the often cliche topic of love and heartbreak. Cooper’s voice rang clear and beautiful throughout her performance, and the group’s concert sound was strikingly similar to and even felt more authentic than their studio recordings.

While Cooper strummed her guitar and Cox banged his snare, the two musicians flashed smiles periodically displaying laid-back stage presence, and this fun-loving attitude resonated throughout the audience. Though the music was captivating, Cooper and Cox’s comments and anecdotes between songs kept the crowd engrossed in the show the entire time, further displaying their casual stage presence. The two charmed the audience with their humor and opinions, even interacting with audience members by pointing out specific people and talking to them from their microphones on stage. Cooper and Cox were certainly in love with the spotlight but willing to share with fans.

Though the show was certainly quirky with amusing stories of An Horse’s travels, it did become a bit repetitive. As the show went on, each song began to echo a previous one, especially with most of them involving some synchronized cues between the two musicians. This does not mean the music was boring, however, but that the pace of the show became predictable.

The duo did not cheat the audience out of its money, performing a lengthy set that carried on past midnight. However, with their flamboyant personalities, An Horse announced that they would not bother with the “awkwardness” of the typical encore; a gutsy move that they announced before playing their final song.

But as the final song came to an end and viewers began to file out of the small auditorium of Bottom of the Hill, it did feel a bit anticlimactic without An Horse coming back on stage to play one final song. Despite the lacking “one more song” chants, An Horse proved itself to be a group of charismatic performers with huge personalities and the potential to make a huge splash on the indie scene. Their down-to-earth personalities and simple sound will truly set them apart as they continue their tour of the world.