Saturday, February 28, 2009

Black Mountain (27/2/2009)

The corner hotel is one of the big guns on the Melbourne live music scene... even though the venue isn't particularly grand. As a pub, big thumbs up, but venue... meh. There's a big ass friggin pole dead set in the middle of the dancefloor in front of the stage. And the air con was on mighty high and it was chilly. But the quality of tunes more than makes up for it 90 percent of the time.

Kind of sounded a bit like Neil Young most of the time, with the exception of one Triple-M sounding rock song which I wasn't really into. One song I noticed in particular was 'Wishing Well'.... long sprawly guitar song... it was fun. Definitely set the mood for what was to come. Very cool.

You know how most prog-rock songs have slow bits and fast bits, quiet bits and loud bits etc. (pretty much the elements that define them as prog rock), well Lady Strangelove are a prog-rock band without the slow bits. From the first beat to the last it sounds like the most ridiculous part of a Mars Volta tune.... which is good for the first two songs... but by the end of the set I was getting a little... not tired, but weary... of the non-stop rockin. They sound a lot like Wolf and Cub, but with a lot more practice (see previous Wolf and Cub review)... can't really complain about them, if I had of heard one song they'd have been amazing, but a whole set is almost too much of a good thing.

What better way to cap off the amazing Feburary of gigs, with Black Mountain. I swear, no shit, my hairs on the back of my neck stood up about 8 times... and it wasn't just the air conditioning. The songs are fantastically written, the band can perform stunningly without an ego in sight, and a 16 minute encore is just what a band needs to do to get me to use the words amazing, stunning and fantastically. 'Angels' is a future classic, 'Don't Run our Hearts around' was stupid fun, and the moment where the chick belts out that one line in 'Tyrants'... wow. It's a feeling even better than finding out you were still intact after you had thought you'd been castrated by a sociapathic teenager, but they only used a bulldog clip and some ice (I just watched Hard Candy... didn't actually happen to me). I love Black Mountain.

Shit review I know, but I can't put it into words... it a whole lot easier to write about something that is horridly bad than stupendously good.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Planet in Space @ The Laundry (26/02/2009)

The Laundry
Great place: damn cheap beer ($10 jugs), excellent tunes upstairs (zappa, stones...), free entry(might not have been free for everyone), brilliant bands (payed $20 to see the same line up a couple of weeks ago), decent sound.
Would definitely return for some good cheap fun!

A Planet In Space
These guys were awesome again, in fact I did a bit of research before rocking up tonight and listened to a bit of their music on JJJ unearthed website. They have some great original tunes, that also have a decent longevity. Seeing them live tonight was an eye-opener as to how awesome they play their gigs, their live versions are typically 150% the length of their recordings, with many songs perfectly meshed together.
The lead singer/guitarist broke a string 1 song into the show, and without so much as signalling to his band mates to wait up, he put down the guitar, jumped off the stage, strolled over to a guitar case on the ground, grabbed a new guitar, came back to the stage, changed the strap, tuned up, moved the broken string guitar out of the way, then got straight into a song with the other guys whom in the meantime had been jamming with a bongo focus - flawless execution of improvisation.
I cant praise these fellows enough, great performance ethic and an awesome sound to back it up!

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Disco (21/2/2009)

A real first for 100 gigs... tonights performance was an all ages gig with no beer. I could almost hear my liver rejoice!

The setting was the RRR performance space for what was to be My Disco's second last gig in Melbourne before going overseas (their last being at Golden Plains... please don't get me started). I had been attempting to see these guys since I got my hands on their latest cd 'Paradise', and due to a variety of factors, had missed them every single time. But before I could enjoy their tunes, the support acts vied for my affections. 

I only saw the last few songs of their set... which was still more than what I saw of them at Laneway. The main dude, Kes, has somesort of bizaar charisma about him that I just can't put my finger on. The tunes have a great jive to them (the ones I saw anyway), and combined with this undescribable showmanship that Kes seems to have, I really started getting to it. Will check out again, properly so I can review them properly. 

By the time Sydney duo NOTV hit the stage, a lot of the crowd had made themselves comfortable on the floor, looking really relaxed. Nice lady singer suggested we get relaxed now, as the tunes were going to possibly make us feel a little uneasy. Uneasy was the right word... for the next forty minutes we were treated/subjected to a combination of Horror Movie soundtrack and 'Homemade tape by a kid who just worked out how to create feedback using two tape recorders'. Strangely through all the noise a lot of it stuck, some nasty drum beats cutting through the mess made the whole thing really hypnotising. I imagine when David Lynch takes a girl home and she says 'I'm just going to slip into something a little more comfortable, why don't you put some music on', and then she goes in the other room... David puts on Naked on the Vague. Then they come up with Inland Empire. 

In between bands, the inhouse system was just playing RRR (which made sense), and they played a fantastic cover of a Suicide song by Bruce Springsteen called 'Dream Baby Dream'. It's the second time I've heard it and for some reason I think it's terrific. But I digress...

From the moment the music started I knew I was in for a great show. I've actually sat in front of the screen trying to descibe the whole thing for about 5 minutes now and haven't come with anything. Go to the myspace and hear the tunes. Then think of how great it'd be live, with almost earpiercing guitar, and a rythm section that could drive slaves to build the pyramids (?!). It was like pounding techno music but not, and heavy metal but not. When the band bashed out the main riff to 'An Even Sun', there was an amazing silence for a quarter of a second after each line... a silence that was like a punch in the face. Amazing. During ' You Came To Me Like A Cancer Lain Dormant Until It Blossomed Like A Rose' (sounds like a band that would play at Soundwave), some young'uns jumped the stage, and one dude, totally outdoing my Girl Talk experience, was handed the guitar and invited to supply the noise for about 30 seconds. Smiles all round from the band, the jumpers, the audience and most importantly me. During one of the song breaks someone shouted out 'Don't Go'.... and that is totally my feeling. It's like falling in love with a girl the day before she has to leave on a rocketship to Mars because she's in a top secret space program. But at least I can tell everyone about this. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Roar Sounds (19/2/2009)

When someone says there are a bunch of bands playing at the Melbourne zoo, a few incredibly witty replies will come. The Animals? The Monkees? The Shitty Beetles? Well, on this summer evening, we were entertained by Tame Impala, Eddy Current Suppression Ring (not that animal-ish, but a full nerd name), and Lions eating Goat Halves (Not actually a band... more of a performance troop).

The zoo was a great venue for tunes... there was good food available, it was BYO, and there were really odd birds flying around. The catch was that it was kind of pricey, however, I won tickets so poo poo to you I guess.

Tame Impala
Still an excellent band that actually do live up to all the hype that surrounds them. The crowd chilled on their picnic blankets as they played all the songs that I know but can't remember which is which. I'm pretty certain Skeleton Tiger is my favourite, as I've mentioned previously, there's a moment when this crazy drum rythm drops in and I totally lose my shit every time. Their EP does it no justice. It was also interesting to note there was a second guitarist on stage... I have no idea who it was or why he was there. Perhaps the 3 have become 4?

Eddy Current Supression Ring
I had briefly seen these guys years ago before they sort of blew up, and to be honest... I thought I had read somewhere that the whole band were disabled. I don't know why I even thought this, I'm wrong, and I apologise to the band, and anybody that was offended when I called them the Steady Eddy Current Supression Ring.

These guys tore the place up. While the crowd was relaxed and comfortable during Tame Impalas set, as soon as ECSR hit the stage everyone was on their feet. They ripped through tune after tune, few which I recognised, and by the time the sun had set... there was the most energetic mosh pit I had seen since year 12 in my High School gym. Crowd surfing, stage diving... awesome. The tunes were really good, proper rock music. Singer Brendan Suppression has a real Aussie twang, which really works with the riffage supplied by the other dudes. If you get a chance to see these guys, take it, I'm annoyed it took me this long to get into them.

I also invite pat to explain what the hell an Eddy Current Suppression Ring is... I looked it up, but Pat knows about that kinda stuff so he'll explain it better. Maybe.
(All I know is: the spiral path an incompressible fluid takes upon passing a solid object is an Eddy (current), like gasses make vortices. This expression is also used to describe an electromagnetic effect in circuits - or rings? - and suppression something that be done to an interference signal. Overall I'd say someone in this band had studied a bit of physics, or has a keen interest in electromagnetics and thus produced an awesome band name!)

Was this review any good? The event was BYO so I had a lot to drink... my review was based on some fuzzy memories.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Espy (14/2/2009)

Feburary 14th. I challenge you to find me a man who likes this date. Those tied down in a relationship are caught in a web of flowers and chocolates, and those who are single have a trying time getting people together who are both single and not trying to kill themselves for being so lonely. On this Valentines day I was in the latter category, and me and my esteemed companion headed to the Espy for a night of unadulterated tunes. 

Phil Para
This guy is quickly becoming a bit of an Espy institution, I'm pretty certain he's there every week, warming up the crowd. It was bogan central. Which is groovy. Playing a buttload of covers and possibly an original or two, this guitar nutbar, along with drummer and bassist, managed to turn the Espy into what I imagine a Biker Rally social night looks like. The crowd lapped it up as he played covers of I think every old song on Guitar hero 3 - Crossroads, Black Magic Woman etc. He did it all exceptionally well, adding to the songs while remaining very faithful to the original. If all cover bands were like this group I'd be a lot more inclined to head to the countless Irish Pubs around town... but then 100 gigs wouldn't exist, and that would be sad. I think there may have been an original or two as well... but I could be wrong... my knowledge of 70's hard rock is surprisingly limited. 

The Cheats
Ah great, another drum and guitar duo... how many of those have we seen already. While to some people it might mean 'We don't need a bass, we can rock it on our own', I read it as 'We don't have enough friends to make a proper band'. But the Cheats may have very well changed my mind, because they were the SHIT. Like Pat has mentioned, there's something in the air this Feb, because the quality of bands has gone a bit crazy. With a stage lit up with Christmas lights, these two guys played some rockin tracks, with a crowd participation cover of Ballroom Blitz exceptionally great (That was me on the Tamborine). Look out for their debut Album in a couple of months... as well as more reviews on this site... these guys are better that free cake on Wednesdays.

Dead River Deeps
Maybe it was the fact that it was Valentines day and I wasn't covered in chocolate, or that the Cheats rocked it hardcore, the Dead River Deeps failed to get my attention. It was two guys,  they could play well, there was a saxamaphone on some songs, but they came and went without me even nodding to the beat. I don't like their name either. 

I was completely wrong , a lack of proper research led me to write the whole above paragraph about the wrong band! Thankyou for pointing it out mystery reader! The actual band that played was the Cayn Borthwick Band. My feelings are the same, although I guess his name isn't too bad. It's the Bassist from the Dardanelles, who I quite like. I'm sure I would've enjoyed the set more if I had of really got into it, slouching at the back of the Espy isn't really a prime gig spot. So apologies to the Dead River Deeps, who I haven't heard. But I still don't like their name. Also apologies for the Cayn Borthwick band... last time I ever write a review after drinking from a box. 

Apologies to Dardanelles too, who I called The Dardanelles. The Dardanelles is a body of water that separates Turkey. Cayn Borthwick is not Turkish... as far as I know. 

There were plenty more bands on this night, but feeling groovy, I headed elsewhere for some dancy dance. Unfortunately, the chosen location had no power, so I drank MB tinnies in the dark. Yay!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

East Brunswick Club (13/2/2009)

-By Pat

What is the deal with February? We are struggling to find a bad show at the moment!

East Brunswick Club

We returned once again after last weeks great experience, especially after reading a poor review of one of our new favorite venues in Inpress. After seeing another show here I still think it has excellent sound, in particular the equalising/mixing, it is much bassier than most venues. Jim and I appreciate this but maybe that's because we're going deaf from seeing too many gigs, however seeing more gigs probably makes our opinion more valid than Inpress'. Something negative I can say though is just that the fans at this place are really noisy between bands and quite chilly on a cold night.

A Planet In Space

Absolutely awesome. Like The Mars Volta bring Latin style to progressive rock, these guys have brought Reggae with a fantastic result. Their songs were fairly long; playing 6 songs in 45 minutes. They are a Melbournian four piece featuring a guitarist, a bassist/electronics operator and 2 awesome drummers. I estimate they played roughly 6 songs and 2 drum solos in they're 45 min set. They are all incredibly talented and highly technical musicians. I think the only thing holding them back from exploding into the industry is their image, not that I care about such things - they were awesome.

Matt Kelly and The Keepers
A bit too much like old radiohead/jeff buckley to sound very original. Also a bit pretentious to have that style band name when the whole band writes the music but I found out this guy is some relative of Paul Kelly and apparently has a case of egocentric-frontman syndrome. They were a bit boring after the previous band, soo boring in fact I'm writing this review while matt is whining and I admit it, I just heckled them.

The Reefs
The Reefs are a reggae band with a bit of a rock taste thrown into the mix. Again as was the case with the previous band they were overshadowed by A Planet in Space for me, even though they were the headline act. They had some good live moves and they looked a bit more experienced than APiS (hahaha). They also succeeded at making us bop and enjoy ourselves, so cant complain about that. Good night overall.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Primal Scream (8/2/2009)

My ears are bleeding....

Having never been to Billboard before, I must say my expectations were low. It's a nightclub... and a poor one at that from all accounts. But after descending the stairs under Russell street you're greeted with a sight that looks like something from Blade Runner. Neon lights are friggin everywhere... all different colours. It's kind of bizarrely charming even. What was not charming was having to drink bottled beer out of plastic cups. No beer taps... epic fail. But a big stage and plenty of room made up for it.

Wolf and Cub were the supports tonight, and had changed a lot since I first saw them 4 or 5 years ago. While back then they were a bunch of young kids making a whole bunch of noise, now they're older and hairier, making some more organised noise. Two drummers give the band a real kick (gettit) and the bass has an awesome tone to it... some real bitchy fuzz during one song was da coolest. Then the guitarist/vocalist yelps about some crazy stuff while playing catchy little riffs. Should have been awesome, but was let down by what appeared to be a lack of teamwork between drummers and the fact that nobody looked like they were having any fun. A smile goes a long way fellas.

The first thing I noted as Primal Scream kicked of with Kill all Hippies was how fercuckin loud it was. It was also the second, forth, eighth, fifteenth, sixteenth, twenty-third and forty-second thing I noticed. Kind of unnecessarily loud (I was fine with the volume - no thanks to QOTSA - up until the big finish with 6 solid minutes of loud noise, quite unnecessary! PAT). But as loud as it was, it didn't detract from the quality of the sound... every instrument was perfect in the mix. The band played a bunch of new stuff, old stuff and everything in between from their 20 year career... going from their Stonesy songs (Rocks was clearly the crowd favourite), psychedelic jams (Burning Wheel was intense) all the way through to their real dance stuff (Swatstika Eyes was my fave song of the night, it was nigh impossible to dance during that baby). Most importantly, the band looked like they were having fun... smiles between band mates and true acknowledgement of the crowd... I hope Wolf and Cub were paying attention.

I'm not actually sure if that whole review made any sense... it's hard to concentrate with all this ringing....

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Devastations (6/02/2009)

-By Pat

Awesome night! We managed to see the Berlin based Devastations last night in their only Australian gig. This three piece formed in Melbourne originally, then migrated to Germany to make a name for themselves in Europe. This was a remarkable night, I'd say at this stage the best show all year.

East Brunswick Club
This was a great venue: average bar prices, good tap beer variety, nice beer garden, excellent sound. Fantastic sound actually, very deep chest-resonating bass and bass drum. In the band room, sound good be heard perfectly (and very loudly!) anywhere in the room. Excellent quality system and great mixing was a bit of a holiday from usual venues, this one really felt like some engineering had gone into it's design.

St Helens
Five piece Melbourne band with a singer that looked a hellofalot like Mick Jagger. They had a great sound and I'm going to keep a look out for any CDs of these guys as they left me wanting more. A bit of psychedelic rock is always appreciated in some way by the two of us (and often loathed when a band is in over their heads) and these guys won our vote, look out for them.

So good, so polished and such a privilege to be present at such a one off gig while the guys are in Melbourne. These guys are a bit bigger in Europe playing regularly with the likes of Blonde Redhead and were also at the last All Tomorrows Parties festival in London.
This gig however was the first time I'd seen them and I was really looking forward to it - which in my personal experience tends to be a way to wreck a good gig. However they still exceeded my expectations and were awesome. They played a decent selection of their music from their 3 albums along with a new song. A song from their latest album: Rosa - actually started twice; a d!ckhead jumped on stage (later recognised by Jim as an Inpress Journalist he met once) ran around for a bit and then jumped off but managed to take some of the guitarists equipment with him resulting in a disconnected guitar right before the solo that almost ruined the final song! Luckily the guitarist was still in a great mood and they started the song again, but they all played it a bit differently to the first time and although d!ckheads aren't usually appreciated, I think he enabled us to witness a great live moment. I thank you d!ckhead from inpress!
Once that finished the band came back to the stage to perform a 3 song encore, which was very generous. I know we witnessed a one off and extra special gig that will take a truly mind boggling event to remove Devastations from my top live bands.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Girl Talk (5/2/2009)

Despite having a big stage, two bars and a massive dancefloor, the Prince of Wales bandroom is far from a perfect place for gigs. There's no tap beer. Grr. And a massive pole smack bang in front of the stage. I don't want the roof falling in on me, but come on... are you serious? But enough of that... it's time for the review.....

Scientists of Modern Music
These two youngins from Tassie have been showing up on festival bills and as supports for bigger electro bands over the past 2 or 3 years. Which is fitting, as they play electro-rock as pure as it comes. Synth loops, drum machines and vocoders. They have colour co-ordinated uniforms and choreographed dances. Some songs sound like the Presets, some like the Midnight Juggernauts and some like the Cut Copy. Which is all fine. My only beef that at 40 percent of their performance they were playing air guitar or doing the macarena or something. Both of them. When the music was still going... and changing. Even one of the tunes with vocals.... the singer wasn't singing them. A backing track is one thing, but this was a tad rediculous. But the crowd got into it, the guys had a good time and I had a really good tequila and red bull. See them next Friday afternoon for free at QV if it sounds like somethin you might be interested in.

Girl Talk
So what the hell is the point of going to see a guy who essentially just makes collages from bits of all your favourite songs on his computer. What could a performance possibly entail, that could justify bringing him over from the States in these hard economic times? Just a guy, pressing play on a cd that he already made, as he couldn't possibly do any of it live, it's far too meticulously prepared. Right?

Dead Wrong biatch! After the first bar of Gimme Some Lovin' opened the show, crowd members jumped on the stage to boogie around the G man on his laptop. I was one such crowd member. About 30 people danced on stage for the next hour, sweating like I've never seen, and loving every moment. All the best parts from his latest albums appeared, but rejigged to make the show an awesome version of guess the tune. Then Shout by the Isley Brothers (among others) made an appearance, and the crowd went into mega spastic overdrive. I cannot remember ever having so much fun. In the 21st century, this is how music should be done. Girl Talk is a pioneer, and will definatley be in my top 5 gigs for a long long time. Holy shit I had a good time. 

Oh yeah... how's this for the best gig photo ever!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

James Hampton (4/2/2009)

-by Pat

Tonight we ventured out to the Paris Cat deep within the CBD of Melbourne to see a singer/songwriter who has been getting a some press recently with the release of his debut solo album Land or Sea.

Paris Cat
This was the smallest venue visited in the 100 gigs so far and chock full of character. High quality furniture, mood lighting and intimate stage arrangement made for an excellently classy gig atmosphere. Of course this level of class doesn't come without drink prices to suit but you can never have everything.

James Hampton
This was James' first gig with the new album and I had not previously heard anything as it is recorded on Land or Sea. I'd probably put James' style deeply submerged in pop, but that doesn't tell a reader anything, I would suggest you listen to it here. Throughout the performance James sang/played piano and was accompanied by a guitar, drums, bass and a choir of 3 fine young ladies. The arrangement and utilisation of each instrument provided a lot of depth and variety to the music making it all the more interesting.
The bass and piano combination were a noticeably prominent driving force in most of the songs while the guitar seemed to noodle around and deliver a memorable riff occasionally. The singers sounded great and gave a very live feel to the act, particularly when they were dancing.
One memorable moment during the set was the song Got No Friends which was very amusing to hear. Another great moment came unexpectedly in the form of a Reprise! It's a great move to finish where you start and a reprise was a fantastic way to top off an excellent set.
Watch out for James Hampton!

Monday, February 2, 2009

St Jeromes Linewait Festival (1/2/2009)

It would be so incredibly easy to write a diatribe about this festival, but there'll be enough of that in every music press over the coming year, so I'm going to focus on the good! Which there was a lot of, despite what you may have heard...

Tame Impala
Due to a late start, the Tame Impala set was criminally short... about 4 songs I think. Godd thing the songs are awesome, drawn out and a whole bunch of fun. There's a whole bunch of hype about this band, which of course means there's just as much backlash. They don't seem to care... they're doing what they like, getting stoned and playing stoner jams and covers of 90's soul songs. The moment when the drums start rollin in Skeleten Tiger was one of the best moments in live music so far this year. Real back of neck stuff. The crowd loved it.

These girls looked like they would all eat me alive, so in case of them reading this I'll stay nice... Really cool proggy rock, plenty of guitar effects and general mania. The songs started sounding a little samey, but when the piccolo/recorder/whatever bloody instrument it was appeared, it added a strangly large amount of depth to the tunes... no mean feat considering it could have easily been drowned out by the 3 guitar onslaught of bitch rock.

Still Flyin'
My new favourite band. Fun funky reggae type stuff with about 15 people on stage. I'm not sure what half of themn even did, but the crowd were totally spastic for it. Singalongs, dancing... I hadn't had this much fun since the first time I went on the Gravitron at Luna Park. Seriously... if this had of closed the festival there would be nothing but smiles today. 'I want to bicycle kick my worries away'... 'nuf said.

Spiral Stairs
Only saw a little of this guy and his band, but seemed ok. Rocky stuff... apparently he used to be in Pavement. So all them indie types cared a lot. The crowd seemed a little warey of him though, but inviting members of Still Flyin' to assist in the last song really got the party going. Wish I had of seen more.

Port O'Brian
Looked a little bit country, played some countryfied rock in the style of Band of Horses. Actually... sounded a lot like Band of Horses. Pity none of the tunes did anything for me. And I always find it hard to get motivated when a member of the band is sitting down. (hey, dummers are band members too! -Pat)

No Age
No Good.

Cut off your Hands
Only really heard this from behind the sound tent as I waited for the drones. I knew a few of the songs from the wireless, the crowd that knew them really got into it, but everyone else didn't seem to care.

The Drones
It is absolutely criminal that The Drones are not recognised as one of Australia's best rock bands. Get fucked Jet, the Living End... whatever shit is on Triple M now. 'I don't ever want to change' should be played by every shitty cover band in shitty pubs in between 'Khe Sahn' and 'Run to Paradise'. Gareth sang like a lunatic and the crowd absolutely ate it up like I ate a delicious Colossal Chicken burger from Burgers Edge. 'Sharkfin Blues' was a highlight, as was 'Oh My', 'The Minotaur'... and shit... everysong they played. See the Drones people... before you miss the boat and your kids will be like... 'Hey Daddy, when you were little did you ever see the Drones', and you'll be all 'Yeah... heaps' then have to change the subject.

Mountains in the Sky
To close the festival for me, the uplifting electronic rock of Mountains in the Sky. While the majority of the festival whinged about not being able to see the Girl Talks, me and 150 others saw a great show that was everything that was right about the festival. A bunch of people dancing to great interesting music and not giving a shit if they'd heard it before or not. Everybody in the room shared stories about the trying day, missing out on bands here and there... but in that room we were united, and as the beeps looped and the guitars drifted... we danced the shit away.

Also... Tiger beers were 4 bucks!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

January Overview (PAT)

Top 3 Gigs
THE REVOLVER (10/1/2009)

Best Venue
(Noise bar is awesome also but further away)

Top 5 Bands


Top 5 Performers

Minds Eye Award
The name for this award is the song title of the song that was being played the first time I had the feeling at a gig that the band we were watching were way too awesome to be playing for a donation at a place this sh!tty. The fact that Wolfmother recently broke up is not important but they did make it big about a year and a half after we saw them.

As Jim said previously, catch these guys while you still can in comfort and free of d!ckheads!

Biggest Disappointment
I couldn't decide on a good name for this award, Rise of the Machines Award is too long....Anyone have any better ideas? comment on this entry!


A Jantastic Month- See what I did there....

So the first month of 100 gigs is complete. Claps for everyone involved, but not too many slaps on the back. There's a major crisis unfolding, which could be bigger than HIV/Aids. (Ouch.... ouch)

I've been to 8 gigs... a few short of what I had hoped at this early stage, but not too bad. But after a few calculations, I've found that at this rate I'll only go to 94 over the year. Holy Shit in a Can! My esteemed colleague Pat is right on track however, with 10 gigs completed. Meaning at his rate he'll be seeing 117 over the year. Well done Pat, I gotta lift my game.

However, all is not lost avid blog readers. A glance at my calendar shows 5 gigs in the next 8 days. That should bring me to an expected result of...... 121 gigs. So woo! No need to panic yet.

But without further ado, here's my roundup of the month. All comments are my own feelings, if you're more of a Pat person, which I'm sure a lot of you lovely readers are, stay tuned for his summary of Jantastic January (Yeah I did, uh huh).

Taking into account talent, stage presence and how surprised I was at their awesomeness.

Snob Scrilla
While it was a smallish crowd on a smallish stage in one of the earlier slots at Solar festival, after only two songs Snob and his band had every single person in the audience in his grasp. We were singing, jumping, dancing and having a general great time. Snob is a great showman, but on top of that, the tunes are incredibly catchy. Is it hip hop, is it electro.... whatever it is, its some of the best fun you can have with your pants on.

Duck Duck Chop
While a bunch of popular two piece bands tend to go down the dirty blues path (Mess Hall, White Stripes, Black Keys) , these guys went for some serious rawk. These guitars were stupid, the sound was huge, and the drums didn't stop for a second. This is what music shoulda been playing in the Boiler Room scenes of the Freddy Krueger Movies.

There's nothing like a good psych rock band.... which is a pain because most of them are utter bollocks. A bunch of teenagers with shitty attitudes thinking their delays pedals are gods gift to awesome. Thankfuckfully, Yolke were not. They have senses of humour. They have succinct, catchy tunes that don't all sound the same. And they had everyone who saw them at the Summer Noise fest partying like it was 1976.

Franz Ferdinand
I had my doubts after I saw these guys, as you'll be able to read in my earlier review. But after a few days I could not stop thinking of their performance, and that has to count for something yeah? They were incredibly tight, Alex Kapranos is the frontman that every band wants, and their songs are really really good. Really good. Cynics will tell you otherwise, but songs like 40 ft, Outsiders and even new single Ulysses are better than free toast on Wednesdays.
The Presets
How many times have I seen thee? Let me count the times... I have seen the Presets I think more than almost any other band, so I knew what I was expecting. Swimming in a shirtless sea of Summer Festival scum, I expected to be punched in the head to every beat of their singles.
Presets have ARIA's now, they'll be shit.... Presets won J awards, they'll be shit.... They are played on Nova, they'll be shit.... They are on a car ad, shit... I was convinced this would prove to be true. But I was dead wrong. Knocking the big singles over early led the audience to become somewhat bored, but it was during the long proper electronica tracks that I was transfixed. Anywhere... Aeons... shitty album tracks to some, but their renditions at Solar festival reminded me why I first loved the Presets, and assured me that while they have a long fame filled career ahead of them, they're not going to forget what got them to where they are... making music for proper munters.

Venue of the Month

Noise Bar, Brunswick
Two band rooms, big beer garden, friendly people and cheapish booze. I couldn't ask for more.

THE BRUNO KIRBY AWARD FOR MOST BEST BAND THAT MIGHT NOT BE THE BEST BUT I SEE GREAT THINGS FOR THEM (And even though they're kind of a comedic actor they were in the Godfather 2)...

Fearless Vampire Killers
I can't recommend this band enough. Based on their ability to totally rock the balls off any gig, their not totally original retro sound that people think is grand, and the fact that their buddies all seem to be getting a bit huge (Little Red, The Harpoons), I have no doubt in my mind that they will be big. Check them out before you have to pay real prices to see them.