Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April 2013 gigs

49. Harry Howard and the NDE,  The Go Devils, Tav Falco's Panther Burns, The Tote, 1/4/2013
Harry Howard and the NDE are a pro pop band and a class act, opening the show tonight. The Go Devils bring their brand of garage rock to solidify tonight's line up and The Panther Burns do their best and hit their stride on the very last song. How I love Tav Falco.
Tav Falco [centre]

50.  Texture Like Sun, Bettye Lavette, Corner Hotel, 4/4/2013

To be fair I only caught 1 part of a song by Texture Like Sun. They sounded kinda like Coldplay. Before we saw Bettye Lavette, we heard her voice. Backed by what seemed to be an American pro band of session musicians, Betty was as previously described: "tough". Everything she sang or spoke and every body movement was with complete conviction. She's an interesting character, because she herself says she never really made it, that was until her latter career. But all that failure has made her into the performer she is today. Her act was down, and my word: what a voice. I found it hard to connect with this performance but I really liked her trip down memory lane, how she wanted so badly to be on bandstand but her first single "My Man - He's a loving man" stopped this from happening. She sang it so well. But the song I really loved was her  last song I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got" sung acapella. The guy next to me says "that song had me by the balls!" Yes indeed, Betty Lavette has got a magnetic and honest talent that nobody can deny.

51. Mere Women, The Stevens, Harmony, The Curtin, 5/4/2013
Mere Women are a three piece from Newcastle. They have unusual timings, a cool guitar sound, keys with knobs that make them sound spacey, and a female singer with an angelic voice and perfect pitch. They also had a male singer, but he could not be heard by these ears. It palatable boundary pushing. In fact, I'd say it was good.  The Stevens are one of my faves, and in April 2013 they have a new rhythm section. I liked the old one but the new one works too and these boys really know how to write a good song, with lots of sad sounding moments courtesy of minor chords. Again I couldn't hear the lyrics but I assume that's the way it's meant to be in a live setting??  I've caught Harmony when they're good, and when they're not that great. But tonight they were on fire. They played with intensity, the singers did everything right, and it was fierce. There were moments when the hairs on the back of my neck were standing. On paper, Harmony- the band are a bold proposition: an indie band, with a very tight rhythm section, a screaming lead singer with some fancy moves on the guitar and three backing singers, singing harmonies over the top of a very loud band. But they really nailed it tonight delivering a heavy and highly engaging set and this was the best I've seen them.

52.  Spitehouse, Ratsak, Terrible Truths, Deep Heat, The Old Bar, 6/4/2013

53. Wet Lips, Grand Prismatic, Autoportraits & Pretty City, Grace Darling 13/4/2013

54. Andy Burnout, Chimper Kimblay, The Pink Tiles, The Public Bar 16/4/2013

55. Them Nights, Sooki La La,  Meth Leopard, The Public Bar, 20/4/2013
Them Nights play their fourth gig ever and it's an honour to see this 4 piece punk band with unusual beats.
Them Nights
Sooki La La are a little Nick Cave esque, but they've got good songs and good arrangements. Some commented also on their tight pants.
Sooki La La
Going by the name, Meth Leopard sounded like that should be a very fun band, but had a Radiohead kinda vibe going on.

56. Peter Case Band, The Moodists, Straight Arrows, The Stems, Salmon and Cowie, Buzzcocks, Flamin' Groovies, Blue Oyster Cult, The Crusaders, Peter Case [solo], Dig It Up, The Palace 25/4/2013.
I'm told there's two acts to catch here today: The Peter Case band and The Flamin' Groovies. Peter Case, known as the best songwriter in The Nerves, and from The Plimsouls is a musician of great range I later discover. He fronts a power pop act, showcasing his songs, all pleasant with the sweetest guitar solos.

Peter Case band
The Moodists
A good start to the day. Next up, The Moodists. I don't know where to look. Should it be the awesome splendour of Clare Moore's solid drumming? Perhaps it's Dave Graney with his antics, banter and frontman behaviour? Or what about Handsome Steve's simple yet arresting guitar playing, or Chris Walsh's Aldi bass? Or Mick Turner? Yes it does seem like an all-star act, but to listen to them there's no one star that steals the show. Here is a good band, that played exciting music and I don't feel so bad for missing the UV Race on a boat, when I get to see a band that seems like a musical blueprint for them. It's just they were doing it 25 years before them.
 It seems that Straight Arrows have changed bass players since last I saw them but this time, was their best performance I've witnessed. Loud, distorted vocals, well matched voices, with good harmonies, over garage, punk pop.
The Stems
 The Stems own classic perfect pop from Australia, both by reputation and also live on stage at Dig It Up. Although I only got to see the last half of their set, it was great stuff and they satisfied the so-so fans by playing the classics.
Cowie on drums, Salmon with mic in mouth after he knocked over the stand with frenetic guitar playing
Salmon and Cowie is Kim Salmon and Leanne Cowie was the drummer for the Scientists. Together they play early Scientists songs and before you say ho hum, these guys really nailed it, and it was so good to hear some solid structure to the raw and wild guitar sounds that Kim Salmon unleashes. When he plays, it's he's trance inducing the audience. Once upon a time a drummer told me that great performances happen when you forget yourself playing the music and the music itself takes over. Well that happened here and it was a powerful performance, even if Kim Salmon held the mic in his mouth with his teeth.

Buzzcocks have moves

Buzzcocks with Spazzy's [who were doing bv's on Ever Fallen in Love?
The Buzzcocks were two original members and two younger players on the rhythm section. Both old and new were good, but it must be said that Cocks Shelley and Steve Diggle were energetic performers, and although at times it seems like they could be mistaken for and old man show. After all their punk music was that of the 70's. But tonight they were ace performers and if I were ever in a band, I'd want to have songs like that, and play like that.
Wigtastic Flamin' Groovies
And The Flamin' Groovies played really awesome pop even if the guitarist did seem to have a wig on. Actually it all started to feel a bit ludicrous with the Flamin' Groovies - I dug the Spring King Reverb on transparent guitar, the bright pink bass, shiny and tight clothes on men who might easily be in their 60's. But despite the almost absurd look, they had presence, and they had songs with more hooks than a fishing tackle shop! And if I were ever in a band, I'd want to sound like these guys too.
The best picture I could get of The Crusaders

The Crusaders were dudes in their 40's? in an off the wall garage band. Actually the band featured brats [or Larrikans] on mics, a teardrop or an Ibanez guitar, Rickenbacker Bass, a drummer from Off The Hip and uniforms.  Sound wise, it was what you'd expect from a garage band that appreciates garage rock from the 60's and it was fun. And towards the end of the performance, the bassist accidentally unplugged his lead, and instead of plugging it back in his bandmate chucked the lead into the audience. Funny stuff. But it all sounded good and that even seemed to surprise The Crusaders.

Blue Oyster Cult had three guitars, one that looked like Swiss Cheese without a headstock and a whole lot of other guys on stage. I would have paid more attention by left in the middle of song two as their 70's prog FM sound and guitar posturing did not appeal to me at all.   I had to escape, so I figured I'd rather wait in silence that listen to the Blue Oyster Cult any longer.
Peter Case
Venturing upstairs, I recalled that Peter Case was playing solo, although it was not listed. This made for the perfect end of the day. He played folk, blues and rockabilly songs and I believe some Nerves songs and this was how I came to the conclusion that Peter Case is a consummate music fan which I presume would make for a good music writer. For a gig that I had no intention of going to, for fear it would be an old mans show, it was a thoroughly awesome and just goes to show it doesn't matter how old a band is- if they've still got it, then they've still got it.

57. Harry Howard and Edwinda Preston, The Gem 26/4/2013
Excellent as a full band, excellent as duo and a surprise to see them at The Gem since they weren't billed at all.

58.Even, Flamin Groovies, Caravan Music Club 27/4/2013
 Even put in a great performance playing your favourite Even Songs. The Flamin' Groovies were great and this was one of my favourite gigs this year! Songs so good, hooks so strong. They made a few fumbles but it made me only love them more!

59. King Tuff, The Tote 28/4/2013
King Tuff played poppy garage songs to an appreciative crowd.

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