Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November gigs 2010

231. Wayfaring Strangers Yah Yahs 1/11/2010
Cup Eve. So tired. Siesta then gig at 11pm. Glad I got up. I saw this band 3.5 years ago, at the Good Shepherd Circus Pie, liked them then, but forgot they existed. The Wayfaring Strangers features the bass talent of Jeremy Smith, 1 blistering lead guitar, a guitarist moonlighting as a banjo player, drums, then the unpredictable hilarious entertaining talent of its energetic lead singer. The laughter commenced when the data projector packed up, and we could see the day job desktop icons on stage. Then it continued – but it was intentional - Smoke machine, torch effects, shadow puppets, ridiculous dancing to match the lyrics[Kangaroo & running], shirt-swapping, seat Cossack dancing, impersonations of Gen Y people, a Wagons cover, funny banter. My favourite was the song about the feral cat, during which, an audience member wore an oversized cardboard Feral cat head on that tiny stage, and danced to the tune. It all got a bit ludicrous. Wayfaring Strangers are a fun and funny band.

232. Cup Day Kaos The Retreat 2/11/2010
Cup Day Kaos was a rock’n’roll extravaganza on Cup Day. In 2010 it was resurrected as an alt country gig. Booked by Jen of The Retreat[7th birthday], it featured Suzannah Espie and The Last Word, Brothers Grimm, Abbie and Jeb Cardwell, Pete Satchell band, Liz Stringer and Van Walker and Spencer P Jones. This was the first gig that I’ve ever worked at. Yes, I was an ‘assistant stage manager’. The day revealed that you need to be a certain kind of person to stage manage, and I’m perhaps not the best person for the job! I’m bossy – which is good, but I’m shy - bad. The brief was to introduce self to bands, get bands on stage and off, let them know when they’re broadcasting. This was a cross over from regular fan to working at the gig. For all fans considering crossing over, be aware that it makes what is usually fun work. It can be stressful. There were some moments of brilliance I got to catch – Liz Stringers vocals, likewise on Susannah Espie, Spencer’s riffs, etc. All the bands sounded excellent but poor Abbie and Jeb only got to play a short set because the power in the DI was drained. Spencer was miffed as he didn’t get to play his two best songs due to the live broadcast.

233. Mikelangelo and St Clair, Abbie and Jeb Cardwell The Old Bar 2/11/2010
So after Cup Day Kaos, I was seeking the chance to watch a band and really enjoy it. The Old Bar were celebrating Dia de los Muertos and had face painting. My understanding of dias de las muertos is that you celebrate the lives of the ones you’ve lost, by doing things they loved doing – it’s a celebration. Mikelangelo was painted, standing next to St Clair, also painted with JP Shilo, and together they performed brooding, morbid gothic songs. Some might call it sound scapes. To me they didn’t really capture the feel for DDLM. I thought all the bands were finished, only to find Abbie and Jeb Cardwell on stage, performing their act, as they did at Maldon and Cup Day Kaos. The brother and sister twang act lifted the mood of the room. Graveyard Train members had alternating DJ sets; a solid reminder that a party DJ and people who like music are two entirely different things.

234. Los Romanticos Upstairs, 47 Easey St Collingwood 4/11/2010
Awkward is one apt word, when you go alone to a party full of beautiful surf skater people and stick out like a sore thumb. Fun is one word to describe the evening band. Whilst the beautiful people were sipping back their Agua and Red bulls in fake goon bags, I was enjoying the sound of Los Romanticos. Back ground music for most, the main event for me. Los Romanticos are a mariachi branded band, all members wearing full costume, playing traditional mariachi instruments including a Guitarron. The guy who booked the band used them for his wedding, and the band played party tunes: La bamba, Tequila and so on. But they were fun, and upbeat, and by midway through the set, the kids were dancing. There's a Mexican shortage in Australia but there was one Mexican wearing a white Charro. A couple of guys were from El Salvador and Chile, and the others were local. I liked it, then bumped into the fabulous Cass Scott.

235. Pops & The Murdered Birds, Delaney Davidson (NZ), Brothers Grim & The Blue Murders, The Old Bar 4/11/2010
I just caught a couple of Pops and The Murdered Birds’ songs: tonight the group consisted of two members – let me get this right James and Pops? James on Mando. Pops on guitar and they played twangy strings both fast and furious into one mic with an old timey style. Brothers Grimm admitted they’d been drinking for 4 days, and launched into set, still managing to attract curious onlookers. Delaney Davidson was a curio to me. The ad mentioned something about ‘self decapitation’, the pic looked bizarre, and he was from NZ. Enough reasons to attend. Delaney Davidson plays a bluesy twang guitar. He sings twisted lyrics into an old hand held vintage mic[is that a green bullet?] that distort the voice. He taps on his guitar, providing his songs with the rhythm. He plays harmonica. All the while, he tapes his parts, then loops them to create an onstage wall of sound. Then he plays live to this backing track he created 2 minutes before. He encouraged the audience to participate by repeating his lines, and dancing. In fact while his tracks were looped he got Melbourne audience members to dance, by dancing with them, then finding them partners. He is creative, confident, impressive and quick witted. His appeal is that he is unusual. But can you believe my favourite song he performed was his most pop song - a self confessed quiet song, featuring the lyric: ‘You gotta have something of your own inside’. It was the song that contrasted with the rest of set and gave the audience the chance to enjoy the space in the song, rather than marvel at the multi-tasking. That said, Delaney did something different and it was refreshing. Thanks to D Heard for this gig.

236. Melbourne Ukuelele Kollektive, Sophisticated Hulas and Mysterious Mose, Edinburgh Castle 6/11/2010
The song and costume theme was plucked from the 1920's-30's and it appeared cult-esque on stage, but the Melbourne Ukelele played upbeat - good time music. They are a collective of people who play Ukelele, some sing, who meet every Wednesday, at the Edinburgh Castle. They play in unison, and their enthusiasm is infectious. They just seem to have so much fun, which makes the audience have fun. MUK look like a colourful bunch of Ukelele wielding weirdos, and maybe they are. I know that when it all gets too hard, I'm gonna escape and run with the collective.
Sophisticated Hulas are Oscar's mum Betty France, who looked divine, another lady, also looked lovely and Betty's boyfriend. They all play UKE, and sing. They've got originals and sing covers to the UKE, and although they joked about being a sophisticated UKE outfit, they are. Sounds good, very entertaining, looks sophisticated. They're real pro's. Esp. Betty France- who's dance,dress, facial expressions and playing are bang on. But the country UKE tracks are my absolute favourite.
Mysterious Mose - I couldn't find anything on the internet about them. But they feature some members of The MUK. Instruments are different. Banjo, guitar, double bass, Slide guitar, Kazoo, jug, saw and of course the Uke. Is this what they call a junk band or a jug band? The costumes were excellent, there's even a man on stage wearing a Fez to go with his curly moustache. They're kooky, have originals, they admit they've forgotten some of the songs, but something a little different, and a lot of fun. I'd definitely hire them for a party.

237. Sal Kimber and The Rollin' Wheel and DJ Gram, The Retreat 6/11/2010
The last gig had a crazy, cartoon-fun vibe to it, so comparatively, this was slow burn sedate, but over the course of the songs it built up. I only caught the 5 last songs of her set but Sal Kimber has a rootsy flavour to her pub rock. Add a twist of country, when she's playing the banjo. Sal sings and played guitar, and her band consists of guitar, double bass, drums keys, and tonight a cameo from their reluctant birthday tambourinist. Together their sound had a JJJ or festival vibe to it. Sal is modestly beautiful and commanding storyteller. The kids at the Retreat dug it.

238. Hobsons Choice, The Gem 7/11/2010
Hobsons Choice is an all male, highly skilled three piece string band, consisting of double bass, guitar and banjo. They play country styled music, and sing harmonies. They're a talented outfit - no hacks here. Toe tapping front bar music.

239. Sime Nugent and Alice Keith The Gem 10/11/2010
Sime Nugent played first set solo. He’s a singer songwriter with guitar, and possesses some good songs, and his set took off towards the end. Alice Keith joined him for the next country heavy set, singing harmonies, playing banjo and guitar, and adds beauty and lightness to his heavy performance. She’s got an emotive vocal style, and executes with a touch of joy. Together they're a contrast act. He's intense and serious. And she looks like she's having fun. I’ll be looking out for Alice Keith.

240. Chris Altmann and Joe Pug, Northcote Social Club 12/11/2010
It was a night of singer-songwriter style but my frame of mind was not aligned with the mood of the evening. Solo Chris Altmann sang and played tunes on the guitar, and at times his band shouted backing vocals from the crowd. Joe Pug is an American singer-songwriter with a folky rock style slightly reminiscent of Springsteen meets traditional Irish songs. He has a unique singing style which is very genuine, and easy to listen to. But I found I didn’t understand his lyrics, as this is the arsenal of the singer songwriter- well it should be. Every time I tried to really listen to the lyrics and understand the story I’d zone out trying. His guitar sex face didn’t help me focus. However he did three excellent things to engage the audience further. One: he asked the room to move forward & close the gap between performer and stage early on. Two: his banter with the audience was charming, and agreeable, acknowledging what town he was in and sharing travel stories. Three: at the end of his set, he switched off his amp and stood away from the mic and sang, once again engaging the audience, who by that stage were talking. Joe Pug seems like a pleasant singer song-writer, but an even better strategist. Not a great night, but alright.

241. Clinkerfield, Little John Northcote Social Club 13/11/2010
My new cousin Paul and his partner kindly gave me a lift from the black and white party in Eltham, and I burst into the bandroom to find Clinkerfield belting out their up tempo brand of pirate/sing along tunes. They looked like they were having fun, banging on their instruments, intense eyes Jimmy telling stories to the crowd. Girls dancing in the front. Room generally merry. I caught their last 2 songs. I realized one of those dancing girls was my flatmate who remarked “Fitzroy must be empty because everybody’s here”. She was right. It really did feel that way. This was Little John’s album launch, and on the first song, he was nowhere to be seen. Blue light flushed the stage, and his band played dramatic atmospheric noises: guitar; fiddle; bass; drums. Then midway through noise, wiry John walks on stage, white flower attached to fitted black suit jacket, skinny jeans, pointed boots, white shirt and quiff, and launches into song. Building anticipation was well executed. That was the beginning. What followed was Little John’s repertoire, gospel, rock’n’roll, country which the audience lapped up. At no stage did I look at watch, it was all fun. Just over 1 year ago I remember seeing him in The Old Bar, struggling to capture a crowd on his own. Tonight, it’s visually a full room. The band colour his songs in and give them character, John’s set list provides enough contrast to entertain, but mostly – and I could be wrong, but John seems to be on a mission to achieve continual performance improvement. Maybe it’s confidence blossoming or self improvement. Who knows? As written before, he keeps getting better and better each time I see him. Encore was an Elvis cover[always hard to do well], and a gospel acapella.

242. Damo’s 40th Birthday featuring Charles Jenkins and Davey Lane, Animal Johnson, Even, Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk, Spencer P Jones and Reigning Men – The Reigning sound tribute band YahYahs 14/11/2010
$10? Annoyed. The print and internet ad’s both said free. Poor gig etiquette on behalf of the venue right? I was ready to have a go then see a sign. It read ‘all money goes to bands’. How can you argue with that? You can’t.
I’d heard so much about the Reigning Sound tribute band, Reigning Men that I felt I needed to see them, since they were a one off [over four weeks]. This coincided with LIV’s Damo turning ‘40’, he organized a night and his friends played. Charles Jenkin’s kicked it off, playing new and older songs, but all pretty good songs. Davey accompanied him on a shrilling guitar, hardening out the soft edges. They only played a short set, and it seems everyone else got to play a full set. The key word tonight was excess. What should have been a tight evening of showcase entertainment ended in a spralling loose night, concluding too late for most. Animal Johnson, are a two piece [drums and guitar], playing bluesy rock. Even performed the hits, playing that brand of 90’s power pop that seems so tired - but I still like their songs & a Big Star cover. Chris Russell is a guy with a guitar who never wanted to be another honky playing African American music. But he said one time he went to Tennessee with his wife on a honeymoon and learned to play blues guitar from African Americans. Every year since his honeymoon, he’s returned to work in a guitar store and continues to learn. So he plays blues guitar solo and sings. Spencer P Jones played his best songs, but ruined his go by staying on stage too long. Words can’t describe how much I love the songs of Spencer P Jones, but the stagecraft could be improved. The aim is to leave them wanting more. By the end of his almost hour set, people were looking at their watches, or worse, already out the door. Finally Reigning Men came on. Surprised to see it looks like GoGo Sapien minus Emily and 1 guitar, add Van Walker, and a drummer and a short guy with energy, screaming into the mic. So they deliver the songs from an album Reigning Sound, and this was impassioned rockin’ out and fun, but it all came a little too late for me. Not quite the cavalcade of showcased talent I was hoping for, but it was real.

242.5 Bonniwells Rock Trivia Grace Darling Tuesday 16/11/2010
60's inspired, garagey rock complete with a sense of mayhem, with a touch of 90's amateurish raw indie rock. Add adolescent bad attitudes. They were supposed to play 1 song, they played 3 or 4 waiting for the trivia host to return back from smoko. I liked the sounds these kids made and I would go to see them.

243. Jane Dust and Heel Toe Express The Old Bar Tuesday 16/11/2010
The first time I saw Jane Dust, I was at Mario's pizza place on Johnston St. In a weird coincidence I ate here tonight. It's the cheapest dinner around town if you split a large. What can I say? I love Jane Dust. I enjoy her folky meets flamenco meets country music. She's got a tonne of influences and they shine through her songs. I like her lyrics, and I like her voice. She played on her own tonight. She's one cool lady.
Heel Toe Express interested me because of the name, I had done that dance only a few weeks ago at Maldon Folk Fest. The young band consisted of banjo/singer/Kazoo, guitar/singer, fiddle and double bass. They played around one mic and they sounded loose, but good. It was a country meets bluegrass affair with a bit of singer-songwriter in the mix. A mix of originals and covers. Enjoyable music. My only concern was fiddle could have been louder. Was it an issue of confidence or logistics? Visually, the main barrier holding fiddle player Ruby back from the mic was the guitar next to her.

244. Spencer P Jones The Gem 18/11/2010
After deciding to lay low and have a quiet one, I slipped into The Gem to catch Spencer P Jones play solo. It's a little bar for such harsh guitar, and bitter storytelling lyrics. But Spencer Jones' songs shine through for me. He played his usual set including my personal favourites -mentioned in previous Spencer P Jones reviews. Almost finished on that Thanks song, where he catalogues the good times in substance abuse, and played two more, after being told there was only time for one. Concluding the evening he said "If you liked me, I'm Spencer P Jones. If you hated me, I'm Tex Perkins!"

245. Damon Smith and The Quality Lightweights Labour in Vain 20/11/2010
Alt country band with keys, guitar, bass, drums, and Damon Smith on vocals and guitar. A front bar alt country experience with very talented lead guitarist who did tricks with a slide and can sing the style well.

246. Buried Horses and Midnight Wolf Old Bar 20/11/2010
In the past, I've found it difficult to really get Buried Horses, because they start so loud screamy, there's nowhere to go -no room to travel in their songs. To me, Buried Horses have so much potential. They've got angst, brooding, and churn out some good sounds, but tonight I discovered what they need. And I only discovered it on their last song: a cover of Ghost Riders in the Sky which they did really well. They need good, simple story telling songs. I feel they try to do so much with their tempos and their noises they forget about the basics. To the songwriter: start observing the complexities of life and put it into a simple song. You've got everything else you need in the band to make it work really well. Tonight was the Johnston Street fiesta, and in a tradition [built up over 2 years] Midnight Wolf played their third year in a row. I love Midnight Wolf. They play rock and roll music with psycho surf twang and sass and they do it bloody beautifully. I've previously written about the duelling lead guitars, ridiculous, fun and anthemic lyrics, onstage antics, pounding drums, tight bass. I could go on... At the end, in Midnight Wolf style, they dismantled the drumkit and crossed the stage for some audience participation. If I ever held a party and required a band, Midnight Wolf would be first on my list meeting the criteria - rockin' fun time band.

247. Van Walker and The Cracked Country Lips The Retreat, 21/11/2010
Reluctant to go to another V Walker gig this year, but my flatmate was going, so I surrendered. I was told a stellar cast of muso’s and one mic. I had to see it. Held in the packed out beer garden, the one mic novelty made a quiet impact. Chris Altmann played fiddle, Matt Quinn sang along, brother Cal Walker on mandolin, Zane on double bass, Flora B Smith on piano accordion, Liz Stringer on banjo, Van on guitar and Simon Bruce guesting on a couple of songs. They played covers of Louvin Brothers, Stones, Warren Zevon, Van Walker song and more. There were loads of enjoyable moments during the performance. Flora Smith has a voice that can break a thousand hearts. So yes, I’d seen Van what felt like a million times this year, but this gig was a bit different, and it had to do with the feel of it. Imagine you’ve been invited to a party where a sing along breaks out, and everyone is invited to join in, but only if you sing with all your might. That’s what this gig was like.

248. High Horses The Standard 21/11/2010
More country on a Sunday afternoon. Melody was key and Roz Girvin sings like she feels every lyric, but she doesn’t try too hard, which makes her very easy to listen to. Husband Greg, played fiddle and Mando. High Horses also featured keys, drums and lead guitar. A mix of covers and originals with a strong country flavor and a gospel bent. Standout track for me was of course Gillian Welch’s Orphan Girl. The real magic of this band, is the onstage husband and wife combination, fiddle and mando were outstanding, and complemented Roz’s own performance without overshadowing. Perfectly suited to the pub, the night, the weather, and highly enjoyable.

249. Kim Salmon The Old Bar 21/11/2010
Kim Salmon is a legend of Australian rock and roll music. One day he may even be entered in an Aussie rock’n’roll hall of fame. Due to stuffing my face with Tamale, I missed the first set, but caught the second experimental set. Kim was accompanied on stage, with a man playing guitar in his lap. Kim started playing the Strat with a slide. Instead of looping tracks through a pedal, he recorded them on cassette tape – he had two recorders around his neck, then he played the sounds back, and manipulated the speed. He did this over the course of the gig. Meanwhile, his friend on stage made noises using the guitars harmonics and body. It started off as a more traditional music sound, then became a series of connected noises. I spend all week listening to music at work, then I go out seeing bands. In between that I listen to my Ipod, or play Uke for fun. There’s no doubt about it. Salmon’s performance was a challenge for the ear. It cleared half the room. But music does not have to be all about good times. Salmon created a aural landscape of contrast and it was a reminder that music does not have to fit a certain mould. Hard to enjoy, but it'll make you think!

250. Pieta Brown Northcote Social Club 24/11/2010
A friend said she was good, so I attended Pieta Brown without knowing too much about her. Fortunately her in between banter consisted of enough stories about her to develop a dossier. Pieta Brown was born in Iowa. Home was a shack in a paddock, with an outhouse. She comes from a musical family. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she was raised by her mother. Later they moved to Alabama. Brown is a self confessed rambler, and moved to NYC, working a regular job during irregular hours. I later learned she is the daughter of Greg Brown.

Onstage at NSC Pieta is dressed modestly [indie low rent] since her pictures indicate she's breathtakingly beautiful. Accompanied by Bo Ramsey on electric lead guitar, she plays acoustic rhythm and sings mostly love songs. It's a folky-country-ish-blues meets pop singer-songwriter style. Her vocal delivery can be described as Dylanesque, with Lucinda's attack and Angie Hart's strength in fragility. Does that make sense? It took me a while to warm to this gig, but Pieta Brown does have good catchy songs. They seem to be the kind that you need to listen to a few times. But judging by the clapping when songs commenced, the audience were very aware of her work. It must be mentioned the gig was only about 1/4 full with a number of sitters, who let’s face it were older [think Rhythms readers].

I love NSC for its sound quality, but since sales weren’t great and the room wasn’t full, I’d recommend setting up tables around the front of the stage. Thereby creating a club atmosphere, making the room feel fuller – and help build the ambience. And it forces the rest of the punters to stand, and allow for greater movement to the bar. That’s my 2 cents for singer songwriter gigs that don’t sell well...

251. Waz E James band The Gem 26/11/2010
All month I'd been hanging out for this Sideshow Brides gig at The Gem, only to find they cancelled. The replacement: Waz E James band who created a really warm country laid back vibe for a muggy, rainy spring Friday night. Although they have none of the youth, sass or beauty of The Sideshow Brides, they did possess fine musicianship & were very easy listening which made them a fitting replacement band.

252. Johnny and the Johnny Johnnies Bar open 26/11/2010
Imagine it's the 1960's, you walk onto a movie set the a bunch of kids of white college kids are wigging out to a psychedelic tinged surf rock band in a beach party luau. That's what it was like walking into Johnny and the Johnny Johnnies last night. Only differences being: there was no beach and the white kids crowd, seemed a little more like black sheep people; my favourite; outcasts, and this was no movie set. Big drum beats, perfectly calculated surf twang guitar, chunky Hammond, pulsating bass, J&JJ's were tight. And this was the kind of music that motivates a conservative Melbourne audience to let loose and partake in frenetic limb shaking. I've seen J & JJ's a few times, at different venues, but they're best suited to the bohemian vibe of Bar Open and hence it was the best show I've seen them play.

253. Eaten by Dogs, Brothers Grim, Cash Savage and the Last Drinks The Tote 27/11/2010
Victorian State Election night. The gig I really wanted to see was The Dunhill Blues at The Retreat. But the rain fell thick and constant, and in such conditions, Brunswick seems a million miles away, so the gig I went to see was just down the road at the catalyst for the save live music campaign.

Eaten By Dogs were on stage as I arrived. Setting the mood the three piece bluesy act played a tight set, which the crowd appreciated. They did a couple of songs with a girl named Gemma singing, whose voice has sweetness, toughness. Does she have her own band? And if she does, I’d want to know who are they and when are they playing next?

Next up, Brothers Grim performed their brand of bubbling below the surface blues-rock. Though their music doesn’t really take me to another place, it must be said they put everything into their work, delivering high spirited, energetic performance. Joined on stage tonight by Viola player Jason Bunn and “international bluesman” Dave Morris on harmonica, they belted out their sinful tales of hard living. They really got the crowd moving, especially when they picked up the pace. I’d love to see these guys do foot to the floor rock. Lead singer James a frontman, sculled pints and excreted them out, visible from his sweat drenched shirt. He declared he was an egomaniac, saying how when he “first saw Cash Savage at the Public Bar, I fell in love. She sung like me: but she was a girl!”

All acts built the intensity in the night, and pointed to the main one: Cash Savage and The Last Drinks album launch for Wolf. Cash held a guitar and pulled back the pace, launching into a slow burn set, which set ablaze as the night wore on. This had to do with her band. The Last Drinks, featured Nicky BeDashing on keys and glee club-esque badahs, Josh Crawley on Banjo, Kim on Double Bass, two drummers[whose names I missed] and killer guitar by Joe White.
Cash represents herself in a way that spells a certain toughness. Tonight, the measure of time is not a wrist watch, but wine glasses of whisky. Banter in between songs is no- nonsense. With Cash, what you use is what you get. Onstage, she has a serious setting. Themes are about broken hearts, lost love, bitterness and so on. When she sings her stories down the mic, arms flair, fingers point, she posters, and this all contributes to her conviction. Her raw gravelly vocals easily make way for a powerful vocal assault. As the whisky went down, she started to let her tough guard down. We learned she’s an Aries, favourite colour is red, and she can’t dance-well not like that on stage during her launch, whilst she’s introducing her band. And the seriousness is balanced out with a dry sense of humour which makes her more charming. Cash acknowledges those who’ve helped make the album including Danny Walsh on Mando, John Hopkins I mean Dickson on Harmonica and they joined her on stage for a couple of songs. And she did a duet with James Grim.
My standout song of the night was Loveless Marriage Blues which featured hooks a plenty and had a guitar arrangement featuring a Melbourne Bitter midneck as a slide.
The crowd danced in the pit. The entire room lapped it up, and on the last song, she asked the crowd to dance with each other. This act of audience participation paved the way for more audience participation during her encore: a singalong. It was The Old Bar Unicorns Theme Song [of which Cash was the coach of that Renegade Pub Football League team], and audience members sang with ferocity. After all this she said she was going up to The Old Bar.... This was a good party night for this young urban country-ish crowd. All that was necessary was to loosen the belt, kick of the heels, let the hair down and allow yourself to have fun.

Thanks to D Heard.

254. Idle Hoes Caringbush 28/11/2010
Today is was a stripped back three piece, the two singers and Nick O'Mara on mando and resonator who seemed to satisfy the middle aged meets family crowd. One singer had a jazzy croon and the other had an Aussie bush twang sound. Hanging with Nat and Sean rocked - those Labor guys are awesome.

255. Rechords The Gem 28/11/2010
On this project I find that bands often project and image, and attract a crowd based on their projection. The Rechords are one. Quiffs, frocks, skinny jeans - it's hipsters meets retro rock kids and country people at The Gem. Walking into the pub midset, the crowd was closest to band were dancing, rockin' rollin', shaking to the Rechords. The crowd at the back were appreciating the dancers and the three piece rock a billy outfit, complete with attire, who suit The Gem perfectly. Note Felix seems to have swapped his rock quiff for Gene Vincent style hair. Good move.

256. Kim Salmon plays The Scientists The Old Bar 28/11/2010
The gig that I really wanted to go to this weekend, and I arrive late. Sign says FULL HOUSE, and I wait until one person leaves. Only problem is that Salmon is playing the songs of The Scientists and no-ones going anywhere. Eventually the bouncer kindly lets me in. The Full House sign was there for a reason. It was a full house. A wall of people at the back, and front, and there was no view. Half the time was spent on the stairs peering through the Tshirts, and the encore was spent in the bandroom where you could feel the music go through you. A good reviewer will tell you about the songs, who was on stage, and I can't do any of that. All I can say is the ageing rock crowd really dug the electrifying intensity of that Aussie indie rock and roll sound, then most went home.

257. Town 'N' Country, Fee Brown, Buffalo Boy (Dirty York) The Old Bar 30/11/2010
Last gig of the month and I missed Buffalo Boy. Fee plays country style guitar and has a warm voice with its own set of vulnerablities. Combine this with her honest love travelogue tales, rich personality she's a compelling performer. She was supported by the exquisite Jason Bunn on Viola most songs and a Mando player. In a former life, Town and Country is a shoe store in Scone NSW. Tonight it's a three piece - two guitars, and one lead singer, three stools on stage, and a whole lot of hair. Bluesy screamy rock done acoustic style with a feel that would suit an outer suburban pub. Not for me. Mark Campabasso was on sound.

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