Wednesday, October 6, 2010

September gigs 2010

168. Fergus McAlpin and Jimmy sings in spring, Jimmy Stewart/Clinkerfield Labour in Vain 1/9/2010

Caught the last song of Fergus McAlpin, singing solo with guitar. LIV was packed full of the familiar faces.

Jimmy Stewart brings ludicrious to a whole new level. It’s wintry cold, and here he is wearing shorts, strutting around sleeveless,  a colourful sombrero, and a dramatic face to match. He is hilarious both intentionally and unintentionally. He is a performer, singing in his natural voice, then in falsetto, bringing songs up and taking them down. He did covers, originals and some banter. When I watch him, I see a guy who should be in musicals. He’d take on the role as the villain or scoundrel. Or a brickie on home and away. Easy to write him off as just another scenester, but he really is a charming and likable performer.

169. Cherrywood The Old Bar 1/9/2010

Cherrywood are The Cherrywood Guns including JC Seymour on Mandolin and another guy playing a little piano accordion. They’ve got early Elvis rock energy, and pretty decent songs. There’s a couple of problems though. They’re a little bit soul-less. I guess they can develop this in time, because they’re young. The central problem with this band, is the singer. He’s an obnoxious wanker.The rest of the band are likable, but I was unsure of the snot-wiping on the drummers shirt. That was gross.

170. Idle Hoes The Gem 3/9/2010

Local country  act with two singers, fiddle, mando and Dobros. Backing band to Marcus’ birthday drinks. I said they sound nice, but I get bored after a while. Selwyn said there’s gotta be a point where you get go, as a performer.That was the trouble with the Idle Hoes-  they didn’t.

171. Redfish Bluegrass, The Exotics, The Rechords Estonian House, 4/9/2010

Cassie and I arrived embarrassingly early only to find we were some of the first few there. Sparse crowd, big room. Awkwardness overcame me. Estonian House was  a theatre built in the 1920’s, with generations of renovations. It’s current art in brown and yellow looked circa 1950’s to me, but it could have been 70’s. It was something like a town hall meets theatre, had a kiosk, dysfunctional toilets,  seats all around at the rear, and parquetry for dancing at the front.

Redfish Bluegrass started on time, and performed their repertoire. They didn’t sound so much bluegrass to me. Moreover they were Brothers meets bluegrass. They have 3 good singers, and one which was excellent. Harmonica player floundered with miniscule parts. Dobro’s  mic was not properly directed and it could not be heard. Fiddle was exceptional. That one mic technique is indicative of the difficulty in balancing the  sounds of the instruments. Although not flawless, highly enjoyable.

Tedesco was djing.

This gig attracted the rock’n’roll set, and the fashion parade was excellent entertainment in itself. Women dressed to the nines, gents looking dapper, and brilliant dancers, but it was all pretty tame.

Then The Exotics came on with their trash rock style, freaking out the trad rock’n’rollers. Benny’s guitar which blistered and made my ears prick up. He is truly awesome the way he bends that guitar, and they are such a tight unit with really loose moments. The lead singer has those trademark sunglasses, ludicrious hip shaking dance, snake charmer turban and maracas.  His drumming wife has her own awesome timing and sway and the bassist held it together. The Exotics are so much fun. They are a band of weirdos and I just adore them.

Next up was a family band, young teenage boy maybe 13 on drums, dad on double bass and teen sister playing guitar with some cool lead parts, singing. They played hillbilly and rock’n’roll. It seemed the parents may have greatly influenced their children to the point of being hideous stage parents, but the kids were great. And the rock’n’roll dancers agreed.

Finally The Rechords came on and did their Brothers style hillbilly music. A lot of it sounds the same, but it was lovely, and they were rapt the crowd came to watch them on stage, with their hay bales, wagon wheels and fake catctus. They dressed up, although not matching and they played their hearts out. The Rock’n’roll crowd danced – excellent oldies, chicks dancing with other chicks because there weren’t enough blokes.

The kiosk sold out of stubbies, so in the end the punters were swigging out of longnecks. Everybody had a good time. This was perhaps my gig of 2010.

172.  Mike Noga and the Gentlemen of Fortune, Clinkerfield, The Eagle and The Worm, The Gin Club, YahYahs second birthday 5/9/2010

Mike Noga delivers his brand of rock with aggressive attitude that made it difficult for me to like his songs. Those boys may be good looking rock dudes, but show us some personality, please. Clinkerfield have no trouble with this, as the personality seems to emanate from the ego of lead singer Jimmy Stewart.  To like Clinkerfield, you must like Jimmy.

The Eagle and The Worm were excellent. Every song was good, every song had great moments, excellent solos, change of sound. They even had a song which had a taste of Hawaii. I just adored them, and could kick myself for missing them before on so many occasions. I left to go to The Old Bar.

The Gin Club – I just caught a couple of songs: soaring indie rock with a cello.

173.  Chelsea Drugstore Marquis of Lorne 5/9/2010

It got awkward for me at Yah Yahs so I left and went to Marquis. Unfortunately Chelsea Drugstore were playing – perfect 70’s country rock sound for the dad’s on fathers day. Not really what I was feeling like.

174. Mojo Juju, Jimmy Hawk and the Endless party, Matt Joe Gow and The Dead Leaves, The Old Bar, 5/9/2010

Mojo was on fire, Jimmy Hawk and the Endless Party was a surprise revelation. Good indie songs with a dash of the bittersweet, excellent guitarist and sometimes he played slide which was just divine. Matt Joe Gow just does not do it for me.  Good hair. I saw about 5 songs and I only liked one; a sparse country song about walking home.

175. JC Seymour The Old Bar 8/9/2010

Mr. Mandolin sang 40 minutes of love songs and spoke with an Irish accent – which was strange since I’m sure that when I had a word with him, he had a full Australian accent. Must be a front. Although I had my head in the weekly gig guides, he sounded pleasant.

176. Mike Noga The Retreat 9/9/2010

Judging by his banter,  Mike hates himself which kind of makes him un-charming.

177. Unknown and a guy from The Wildes at The Rainbow 10/9/2010

Unknown singer songwriter- horrible, but playing for his mates. The guy from the Wyldes was a better singer-songwriter.

178. Oscar’s Band, 5 Frederick Street Northcote, 11/9/2010.

Guitar, bass, drums, and keys. Kids whose parents are from the indie pop generation. Oscar’s band was better than a lot.  The first track I heard was Lonely girl, to which they laughed through the lyrics. Sister System was a great track which featured dueling keys and guitar from lead singer and keyboardist. The bassists voice had broken and the drummer was drinking mini cans of Coke. The ages range from 13-15, Oscar the eldest. This was all held in Betty’s studio in Northcote. It was excellent, so good that afterwards they went to IGA to get lollies! Most adorable gig of the year.

179. Spoonful Labour in Vain, 12/9/2010

Spoon full of shite. Left as soon as I could.

180. Peter Ewing, James McCann, Dave Ong and Gemma Rowlands, Marquis of Lorne, 12/9/2010.

Ewing was accompanied by Viola and Pedal. Sounded good. But when McCann performed with the same musicians, it bought out excellent highlights to songs I already loved. I must have been really lucky because he played Bound for the Blues and Sweet Casualty two of my favourite songs of his. Dave Ong and Gemma Rowlands played pokey country songs, and they did them really well. Enjoyable gig.

181. Jane Dust and the Giant Hoopoes, NSC, 12/9/2010.

Jane Dust in a leather mini, batwings and green eye shadow, accompanied by  The Giant Hoopoes, a string and horn section. It worked. It was excellent, perfectly pitched for my state of mind, singing songs of love and hope. Every moment was enjoyable, and afterwards I got to tell Jane Dust, how so. I love you Jane Dust you give me hope when I thought it was all dashed.

182. Fruit Jar The Old Bar 13/9/2010

Repetitive old timey music with some vocals. The first set is the band Fruit Jar.  The second is Fruit Jar plus others who bring their instruments. A nice way to usher in Monday night.

Grace loved it, amped up for dancing.

183. Jimmy Clinkerfield Stewart The Gem 14/9/2010

Boom! Shake The Room!? That’s what was playing as I reached the Gem. Jimmy had cheerleaders with pom poms delivering crap rap which was entertaining and unusual. That’s what he does – he’s an entertainer. The Gem was packed, the menu was full of bogan foods for Jimmy’s 100th show at the Gem. It was full of all the regulars. Jimmy sang straight songs, then at the break a rock’n’roll piano player played rock’n’roll on the piano. Then Jimmy made a speech with his best friend interviewing him as if he was on the boundary line. It was a fun night for Jimmy.

184. Streams of Whiskey Royal Derby 17/9/2010.

Grace made me do it… no she didn’t really but I thought it could be a good night out..seeing an Irish classics cover band doing mostly Pogues covers. And it was fun. The band were tight, and the gangly singer did his best Irish singing accent. Mandolin, Banjo, tin whistle, guitar, drums and tambourine. They were talented, fun, and it was extremely entertaining.

185. Jack on Fire The Old Bar 17/9/2010

Brooding, energetic, last song had the fast western cowboy sound that reminded me of Sixteen Horsepower.

186. The Cartridge Family, The Wildes, Que Paso The Thornbury Theatre 18/9/2010.

The Cartridge family consist of Sarah Carroll and guitar and Uke, Suzannah Espie on guitar and Mandolin, Rusty on banjo and a guy on electric guitar. As I Walked in they were playing Single Girl, Married Girl. Another one of those gigs I think I was mean to be at. I mean why would I want to be married? Or have a serious committed boyfriend? It would just be a noose right?! The rest of their set was old timey folk and country music, and they played more songs that fitted that thematic vain with a strong feminist slant. It was because of this, I liked them.

The Wildes are by no means stylish or cool in the slightest. They say they’re from Frankston and they look like they’re from Frankston in the 1990’s. They’ve easy to listen to country flavoured songs with strong pop sensibility and they’re nice.  Not amazing, but they are pleasant and down to earth and I think the singer/songwriter is a real talent. Interestingly though, it seems they’re not in that Fitzroy club.

Que Paso started off doing bluegrass styled music all around the mic. The first time I saw them they did that, and that was my favourite type. Chris Altmann plays so many instruments. He’s very musically talented but is he hammy?  Chris and Alysha did so much to make the evening: the decorations, lightshow, it was really nice, and all their friends were there.  It was actually a really fun gig, and after their two bluegrassy songs, they had their big band of Southern Rock with 3 back up singers, a horn section and added keys. At one point, Chris’ dad came on stage and played piano accordion. It was a great evening, I just wished more people had have come since so much work was put into it.

187. Miserable Little Bastards Labour in Vain 19/9/2010

Here for Cassie’s birthday drinks, MLB were upbeat, uptempo drinkin’ music, fronted by J Stewart. A good laugh and the best band I saw that night.

188. Sons of Lee Marvin The Standard Hotel 19/9/2010

sub standard rock and roll.  No great hooks, but pretty good quiffs.

189. Falloe and Matt Joe Gow The Old Bar 19/9/2010

Eew not my thing. Falloe have this rootsy pop thing going on. I don’t for a moment deny the talent of each of the players but their sound had a very limited appeal to me.

Matt Joe Gow seems to try, but he fails to deliver excitement. Some songs are decent, and others I find really easy to tune out of. I look forward to the end of that residency.

190. Pops and The Orphanage The Old Bar 22/9/2010

Pops  looks like an old fashioned man with his good posture, well fitted attire and hair slicked back. Pops can’t sing. But what he can do is play guitar and banjo really well. He’s accompanied by Mando player and together they perform in brothers styles complete with harmonies. It’s enjoyable mostly. The Orphanage are a full band, and Tom Woodward has his nonchalant wail. They do that brand of dark brooding rock, but fail to really capture me.

191. Brothers Grimm and Charlie Parr East Brunswick Club 23/9/2010

Brothers Grimm play with intensity, putting everything they’ve got into an aggressive performance. Lead singer Matt or James cuts through with his unpredictable communication style that leaves audiences wondering is he going to kiss or kill?  I’d like to like them but I just don’t. Charlie Parr came dressed in jeans, a flannel shirt and Cons. Guitar and Banjo were his instruments, and he finger picked his way through his set which was mesmerizing at times. Other times I found myself drifting, but perhaps that was because it was difficult to see if stood anywhere other than the front row.

192. Betty France and friends La Niche  24/9/2010

Oscar’s mum Betty played covers with friends on the Uke. She played down her singing but she can sing, and I can tell she’s a born entertainer. I loved it, and the first song I heard was Revelator. Even Bee Gees songs sounded good on the UKE to me. I bumped into Andrew who I’d met at Radio Festival and he was going to see Bombay Royale: he'd heard they did live Bollywood music, it was free and it was up the road. This I had to see...

193. Bombay Royale Bar Open 24/9/2010

Bombay Royale were described to me as being a live Bollywood band. So it was worth checking, and it was free for fringe festival. Horn section, guitar, bass drums, Korg, extra exotic percussion, and two singers, male and female. The latter danced up a storm, and they went through their songs. The first song was voiceless, and became white man funk. Before I could back away the singers sang in Hindi, and it sounded good, but again, very hard to keep my attention. Am I jaded? This band would be excellent for an outdoor festival type event.

194. Murderball, Once Overs, Midnight Wolf Yah Yahs 25/9/2010

Grand Final day and I was music starved by 5pm. So Yah Yahs it was. Murderball are the band who seemed to form as teenagers but never grew out of it. Horrible originals, horrible covers and very bad hair. Once overs had good hair, a ton of energy and play tight rock, have good bass lines but they don’t have good songs. Midnight Wolf have good hair, good songs, great stage antics, and play straight up and down rock and roll and I love them. Midnight Wolf are rockin’.

195. Owl Eyes and The Orbweavers NSC 26/9/2010

Owl Eyes is one man with a guitar and keyboard. Stark stuff, not my bag on a Sunday arvo. The Orbweavers do dark styled country indie pop and make it work. The lead singer, guitar and violin player shares her anxiety ridden thought processes with the audience in such a way which is charming and relatable rather than annoying. But it’s the music that really speaks, dark, dense and irresistible. The Orbweavers were excellent and worthy of recommendation. Standout track- The Silkworm song and their last song on their encore.

195.5 Spencer  P Jones at Grace Darling 28/9/2010

Spencer P Jones sang songs from his newest album in between trivia rounds. I’m counting this one because compared with the other  hosts, he was the most together, most organized person. Does this say something about the hosts?

196. Melanie Pain and Emilie Simon Prince Of Wales 29/9/2010

Dressed in purple, eyes glittered, Melanie Pain, pounced, danced and charmed her way on stage. It started off as ho-hum performance, but it was her highly skilled and versatile band that helped her greatly. They did very bad barber shop, played Uke amongst her breathy pop style set. I was hoping for something a little darker and sadder, but it was mostly up tempo Frenchy pop.

Emilie Simon is beautiful. Dressed in a sweetheart dress with a robot arm, she certainly was striking. But her music was aptly described as Tori Amos meets Alison Goldfrapp. The electro beats did not appeal.Rarely do I walk out of a gig before it finishes. But I did this time.

197. Special Awards showcase Yah Yahs 30/9/2010

Missed Glavobones. Unsure of who I saw next? Didn’t care for the following act. Ran out of tolerance. Have  I seen too many gigs this year? Poor Grace, I invited her here to try and make up for the bad gig the night before. Plan backfired. Boring experimental indie.

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