Just over a decade ago, Australian producer and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker headed down from his hometown of Perth to the idyllic surroundings of the Wave House studio in the tiny coastal town of Yallingup to record his debut album as Tame Impala, ‘Innerspeaker’.
10 years later, and with the band’s following three albums lifting them slowly but surely to the status of festival headliners and one of the most respected bands in the world, Parker returned to Wave House and bought the studio outright for millions.
As part of a host of 10th anniversary celebrations for ‘Innerspeaker’ – the band have released a 15-minute documentary tracking its creation, a reissued vinyl edition, new mixes and more – Parker and co. now head down to the studio to throw things back to 2010 and play through the kaleidoscopic, wiggy debut album that started their journey to becoming the world-beaters we see before us now.
The band’s new film, Innerspeaker Memories, presented footage of what seemed to be a loose and free recording process for the album. At tonight’s show, this freedom is honoured as the band push aside their well-honed festival-headlining chops and sink back into their origins as something closer to a jam band.
“Right, are we on? We’re good?” Parker languidly ask his bandmates and assembled crew before they slide into the psychedelic opening to ‘It Is Not Meant To Be’ – and this sets the tone for the whole performance. ‘Desire Be Desire Go’, the closest thing to a hit that ‘Innerspeaker’ spawned, is given a transcendent, extended outro, with this sense of looseness and freedom defining the performance.
While the songs from ‘Innerspeaker’ aren’t redefined in tonight’s set, they’re allowed the space to breathe and adapt, making them even more psychedelic and entrancing than on record as they subtly change shape and form across extended running lengths.
Playing in front of an idyllic ocean view, the band members perform while spread around the wooden room like friends jamming in the world’s most expensive garage. A canvas of the ‘Innerspeaker’ artwork is propped up in the middle of the room between them.
Throughout the performance, the camera swirls intimately in between the members, as well as in and out of the room, impressively turning the potentially sterile setting of a studio into a cinematic, voyeuristic window into band practice. “How’s the sunset?” one band member asks before ‘Jeremy’s Storm’. As another member nearer the window confirms, yes – it’s picture perfect, and we’re not jealous at all.
Tame Impala’s next tour, a COVID-delayed run behind 2020’s ‘The Slow Rush’, will see them headline festivals and take on enormodomes worldwide, complete with some of the most elaborate stage production on the planet.
For tonight, though, we’re simply invited to witness four friends jamming by the ocean, taking it back to where it all began, and remembering an album that started a journey to the very top.
Tame Impala played:
‘It Is Not Meant To Be’
‘Desire Be Desire Go’
‘Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?’
‘Solitude Is Bliss’
‘The Bold Arrow Of Time’
‘Runaway Houses City Clouds’
‘I Don’t Really Mind’