Monday, May 7, 2012

May 2012 gigs

95. Messed Up, The Tote 1/5/2012
Drummer of the year lights up my life with their upbeat poppy messy songs.

96. Charles Jenkins, The Standard 2/5/2012
Melbourne singer songwriter with a rich voice and songs with twists plays accompanied by Davey Lane in the front bar to an appreciative audience.

97. Bad Aches, The Tote  6/5/2012
Damnnit! I missed Batpiss yet again, but Bad Aches fills the front bar on this Saturday afternoon.

98. High Fangs, Saint Jude, The Bowers, Handsome Steve's House of Refreshment 6/5/2012
4 piece rock group brings the party to the closing night of Handsome Steve's House of Refreshment. Saint Jude bring the country rock flavour and The Bowers complete the night with their fine pop songs.

99. The Stevens, Gasometer 10/5/2012
Stevens do it again: play their brand of very unpolished pop gems to a room full of the young and hip.

100. Big Richard Insect Tote, 11/5/2012
3 piece, I believe arrived from Adelaide, doing a combo of styles including punk, but I thought their best material was the sloppy slow stuff.

101. Guy Kable, Matty Green Band, Chris Russell's Chickenwalk, The Old Bar, 16/5/2012
Only caught moments of Guy Kable and I figured he was a singer songwriter guy. The Matty Green Band are an Alt country act with catchy melodies and lots of hooks and reminds me of Whiskeytown. Chris Russell's Chicken walk provides a hypnotic and mesmerising blues experience. He's added a drummer to the line up, and Hurricane Gemma sings on a song, earning her name.

102. Sex Tape, Spinning Rooms, Cuntz, Bits of Shit, The Bendigo, 18/5/2012
The first on stage gig for Sex Tape. Spinning Rooms impress some. Cuntz are a young punk band; a little BOS, a little UV Race. BOS are boss, even though the lead singer purportedly threw up mid set in the bathrooms.

103. Richie 1250 and the Brides of Christ, Bad Aches, The Exotics, The Tote, 19/5/2012
Richie 1250 and The Brides of Christ feature an almost entirely different line up since the last time I caught them. They feature Melbourne's coolest guitarist-Steph Brett, and gained a dancer/singer, have a couple of good songs, and the banter is quality stuff. Bad Aches entertained as per usual, and The Exotics blew my mind. Everything they do is exactly what you want. The guitar takes off, the drums drive steady, the bassist does his thing, and the lead singer wears his turban, shakes his maracas and sings his heart out. Good songs, awesome band.

104. Clag, The Tote, 20/5/2012
The story goes, these women started a band in high school in the early 1990's, released a couple of singles, were known due to their stage antics, then disbanded by the mid 90's. 16 years later they're on stage, launching a Chapter Music released reissue of their full catalogue of material. This evening, there's a singer, a guitarist, bassist, drummer, Casio player, Trombonist and a drummer.  All in $11 dressing gowns from Forges, Clag were one of the worst bands I've seen in a while [except for the drummer and the bassist]. They've got a couple of good pop songs, but sound wise it's very loose.  Although it seems like I'm canning this gig, it was pleasantly enjoyable since there was so much happening, like the front row interpretative dancer, or heckling from an 8 year old, or the exchanges between the guitarist and everyone else in the band. Clag are not great, but they are inspiring enough to make you want to go out and form your own band- if they can do it, so can you.

105. Devin, Northcote Social Club 24/5/2012
He's the talk of the town, with a hot look,  his own website, and rave reviews at SXSW but tonight there's nothing special going on here.

106. Bits of Shit, Tote, 26/5/2012
Not so crash hot this arvo.

107.Ratsack, Raw Prawn, Interzone, UV Race, YahYahs, 26/5/2012
What a cool gig, with a bunch of cool looking people. Here's the evenings rundown - Ratsack: screamy punk band with outta tune guitars. Raw Prawn: Sydney act with outta tune guitars. Interzone: Outta tune guitars and knob twitching. UV Race: muddy sound but they bought it home with the unabashed entertainment factor.

108. Matt Bailey, Darling Downs, The Old Bar, 28/5/2012
I had trouble following the stories to Matt Bailey's songs, but the best one I heard was the second last song of the set, which sounded like a walking down the street type of song played on keys, that you'd hear in a musical, set to lyrics that come from the depths of depression. The Darling Downs feature the vocal stylings and hand gesticulations from Ron Peno. He's accompanied by the intense guitar playing of Kim Salmon. They do a range of folk and more. At best it's captivating due to well crafted songs, great performances, yes, it's thoroughly pleasant and a great way to spend a cold Sunday evening in Melbourne.

109. Elva, Fanny Lumsden &  Sui Zhen Grace Darling, 30/5/2012
Elva was a 2 piece featuring Jessica Says and Emma Russack, with wafting vocals, a bit Kate Bush meets Stevie Nicks, but an intense experience if you could be caught up by it. Fanny Lumsden is a country style singer, backed by a country folk band, and it's not outstanding, despite her sparkly onstage persona. Sui Zhen, plays with a drummer, and her brother on bass, when really she should be backed by an all girl band of pop rock players. Sui has a shrill voice, which is excellent and she's got some good songs, but whilst I was totally impressed by her vocal ability I'd love to her her cut lose, because she's got what it takes to be wild.

110. Twerps, Gaso, 31/5/2012
Indie pop quartet played a secret show suppporting The Stevens, and this although I was ready to be disappointed that their live sound would never be as beautiful as their recorded work, this  was awesome and I loved this understated performance.

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