Live Review: Seekae, The Basement

Opening act Thomas Williams was only observed through a brief, disgruntled mindset, so take this into account when I say it seemed to be a combo of uninspiring laptop-jockey experimentation and hobbyist fiddling. To be fair, I only popped in to check set times and I was angry-hungry.

Kangaroo Skull injected some powerful vigour into the evening, shaking out their meditative house music to a receptive crowd. One of the guys looked like Warren Ellis, in other words he was hairy, cool and terrifying. Mr. Grizzly Wilderness was quite intimidating hunched over in the shadows, a possessed focus on his dials and buttons. It was frighteningly easy to zone out and meld into the mechanical head-bob of the crowd. I was super bummed I had a backpack cause there was a fun lil’ d-floor growing throughout the set, it was calling me, nay, begging me to cut loose on it. Serves me right for being a back-pack-at-gig-loser :(

It’s bittersweet to see that Seekae aren’t big enough yet to have someone else set up their equipment; good regarding the intimacy, bad because they deserve bigger, better, world-conquering heights. Besides this, The Basement suits their muggy, blissed-out groans perfectly.

Opening with a new song, it’s a slow, off-kilter number with equally delicate vocals. 2 more new songs were introduced over the night, each one sounding fuller and more realised than the one proceeding it, and all containing vocals marking a drift away from their purely instrumental territory.

The mega-trifecta-block that is Blood Bank, Reset Head and Mingus fills the bulk of my nights memory space. Probably their most accessible track, Blood Bank gets anticipatory woos from the first recognizable bleeps and bloops. A simmering crowd is taken off the heat for Reset Head, but undergoes a different process that doesn’t work for this analogy. Is there a cooking method where you turn all the lights off and kind of schmooze the food with eerie synth pangs and punchy fragility? Mingus is the formidable, not-so-secret weapon of unearthly ambient power.

“Probably the first song we ever wrote”, Void, gets the biggest cheer and dance of the night, the sold-out crowd greedily lapping up it’s frantic beat and masterful melody. It’s a musical superfood, the spirulina of the set.

I’ll be honest; performance wise, this Live Review makes me feel like I’m doing a compilation review. This isn’t to say they’re dull or unentertaining, it’s just there isn’t much else to talk about other than what songs they played and how they sounded. Well, they played all the songs that you would want to hear, they sounded sick, we really enjoyed them, and we went home. Great.

There’s something disarming about their show that makes a reviewer want to just stop typing and shove songs down the reader’s gullet. In saying that, the alterations, the encompassing sound and the communal experience, can’t be delivered by me, feeding you mp3s like a mother bird. Rather, I’ll just have to implore you to check out one of Australia’s most exciting talents.


Live Review: OPOSSOM, GoodGod, 16/5/2012

Written for FasterLouder

hey Kody. taken from under the radar


Like the Mint Chicks, Kody Nielson has created something playful, adventurous and brimming with attitude and mirth-explosions. OPOSSOM stands/crouches, poised over 2012, ready to steal it and make a trophy-belt out of its flesh. They took to the GoodGod stage to share the unfamiliar, but highly anticipated material from upcoming debut – Electric Hawaii.

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Live Review: DZ Deathrays, Oxford Art Factory, 20/4/2012

Written for FasterLouder

Photo by Alexander Holmes

You’d be wrong to assume that DZ’s live show is the musical equivalent of a punch to the throat; it’s more like several punches to the throat, gut, jaw, face, back of the head, gut again, solar plexus and groin (in a good, nay, incredible way- think Tyler Durden, where ever belting is one step closer to enlightenment), it’s a melodious blitzkrieg, it’s like dating Chris Brown. The Brisbane boys have been thrashing through festivals, tours, airwaves and webwaves over the past year, generating some serious pre-show, palpable anticipation. Post-show, this anticipation is replaced be complete satisfaction and early onset tinnitus.

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Live Review: Bleeding Knees Club, Oxford Art Factory, 13/4/2012

Prolonged adolescence 4eva!
Ignore this review and just see ’em hey. I was semi-into 3 songs pre-show, but live it’s a whole new beaster bunny, dropping 2 minute, chocolate-coated, frivolity-gut-punches. Live, it’s a mess of ripped jeans, long hair and zooper doopers. Live, it’s a punk gig with angst replaced by happy-go-lucky teenage kicks.

Photo from NME

Also, it isn’t deja vu, that’s just a different song with the same start middle and end. Don’t fix what ain’t broke.
Also, Also, BKC are as effective at nullifying cynicism as a magna-doodle is at erasing that magnet magic.

-the introductions to songs emphasised their simplicity. This song’s about virginity, this song’s about having fun, this song’s about Marissa from the OC, this song’s about having sex with a slut on the beach – and sure enough, that’s exactly what the songs were about.
-the fostering of crowd surfing addictions was really entertaining. BKC don’t just condone, but endorse a constant ebb and flow of people on stage, people off stage, people in the crowd, people on the crowd, people above the crowd. There was this benny-hill style action going on between security guards and regular offenders to which BKC performed a cover of Yakkity Sax (not really). I’m pretty sure their band manager crowd surfed at one stage? If it wasn’t their manager, than who invited the suit? Amiright?
-i bought a cool t-shirt

-i got an indian kebab before the show and the naan bread was a bit stale

I’m not sure how fleeting it all is, but i don’t think they care so why should i? It’s just fun; childish, simple, joyfully naive, incredible fun.

Live Review: Bon Iver, Sydney Opera House 12/3/2012

Photo by Pepa Knight

Yep, it was just really, darn-tootin impressive. the sheer size, the quality, the craftsmanship. I did not expect my katy peri-peri burger from the paragon to be so, what’s the word i’m looking for, good. And for $12 on monday nights, it practically pays for itself.
Another thing that pays for itself are shares in Bon Iver- BUY! BUY! BUY! ((bye bye) Backstreet Boys reference – double points and brackets!)

From the burgeoning notes of Perth to the final howls of The Wolves, Justin Vernon and co. filled our cups until they overflowed and made a terrible mess everywhere. You’ve gone and spilled thick, viscous, musical greatness all over my new threads. For shame.

I’ll wrap this up because so far this review has been as coherent as Serene Branson.
-The sound was massive. With an entourage of 9 musical-hunks, including 2 drummers and the incredible Colin Stetson, the set’s all-encompassing wonder was about as grand as indie-folk can get.
-Justin was actually quite charming. My expectation was he’d be this stern, aloof, lovable grumpkin, but he was cracking good jokes and shared some amiable banter.
-At times, interludes between songs drifted into a controlled cacophony, but it never seemed out of their reach.
-Sorry but i gotta talk about Colin Stetson again. He did this 40-minute circular breathing sax solo that was part-trepid, part-harrowing and completely gripping. But my friend told me that prolonged circular breathing causes brain damage. He told me this after i tried my hand at it. Mr. Stetson will be hearing from my lawyer.
-DOWNERS –there weren’t many. Creature Fear wasn’t crash hot, but then again, what is ‘crash hot’? Also, i know a number of people who use Re: Stacks as a lullaby, spurring a little drowsiness, e.g my girlfriend who had a microsleep. New level of pertinence for Calgary’s “Don’t you cherish me to sleep”.
-HIGHLIGHTS –I know it’s not ‘cool’ to be all about the singles, but let’s be honest, it was all about the singles. Blood Bank was the first moment that gave me the ‘disney-movie tingles’ (you know, like in homeward bound when SPOILER ALERT shadow makes it home.) One of the best tracks last year, Calgary is the perfect showcase of Bon Iver’s change in direction and lyrical-prowess. Beth / Rest was also sick, all Phil Collins-y.

Finally, If the encore of Skinny Love and The Wolves was as esculent (’s word of the day) and as readily available as my peri-peri paragon burger, i would be one fat dude.
Bon Iverymuchenjoyedthatthankyou.