I don’t know what to make of their name — a crashed kitty? furballs? a depressed puss? — but I do know damn fine music when I hear it. Months and months after I had a flyer for this outfit thrust into my hand at Soundwave, I finally tracked the Brissie band down, closing off an evening of musical might at the Globe headed by the always fun The Wretched Villains (love that violin, sad to hear that Peter the guitarist is leaving, rockin’ out to the new album!). And they rocked.
Here’s a four-piece who know how to pen a song, offer variety in their approach, and have a fab stage presence. Meow!
Handley’s trio of herself on vox and electric guitar, with Carly Chalker on bass and Nerida Wu on drums, have become more confident and more polished since I last saw them a couple of years ago on a boat trip down the Brisbane River. Their new material is sensational rock ‘n’ roll, delivered with aplomb. Each member engages with the audience; Wu is a dynamo. The band stretches Handley’s deep passion for classic 50s and 60s rock all the way to thrash, with some very cool arrangements showing the band maturing and experimenting. There was no sign of jet lag as they drew an appreciative crowd in the Jube’s beer garden. The Dark Shadows journey north from their hometown of Sydney again in August.
Earlier, the Villains road tested some new material ahead of their CD launch on July 31 at the Globe, but were beset by a woeful mix and a set cut short due to the festival running behind time (depriving us of the delightful Lisa Lamb’s fireshow, to boot! Boo!). And while I’m whining, how hard is it to provide bands with a decent light rig these days?
Anyway, the new songs showed great promise, with the keys and violin getting some space to strut their stuff.
I know I should’ve stayed for the Kidney Thieves who always put on a great show — they must be delighted at the news of Faith No More getting back together, given there’s some pretty clear homage going on there! — but I’d had enough of the stench of cigarettes wafting over from the smokers’ cage and my ears were ringing after the Dark Shadows’ big finish. The festival did seem pretty successful if the number of punters was any indication, packing upstairs and down, and what a fine mix they were, too: the goths, the punks, the normals, the normals in zombie attire, the rockers, the metalheads, all getting along just fine, thanks very much.
I interviewed Brigitte when she released her Identity EP in 2006. She talks about her band, her love of horror movies and her classic guitar. Read it here.
I’ve been sidelined of late thanks to a major meltdown at my ISP, Optus, who sure dragged the chain sorting their gear out. But for now, at least, I’m back in the cyber game 🙂 Haven’t got much to show for my absence except an article for the Courier-Mail providing a vague update on Brisbane’s goth scene. The article was spawned when some suit in admin noticed the amount of goths/emos hanging around in the mall and wondered how they could bear to wear all that black, coats and all. So I, for some reason :P, was asked to write something about it. I felt like asking if anyone had ever wondered about all the businessmen in their suits and how they handled the Queensland heat and humidity, but I figured that probably wasn’t as interesting … Anyhoo, the result: a yarn slashed to fit a standard CM tabloid page — but at least a *whole* page 🙂 And here it is, with a neat rundown of the core clubs playing gothic music for a predominantly gothic crowd.
Which is a nice segue into a mention of having seen Dandelion Wine play their last Australian gig for the forseeable future, at Faith night club’s Love Cats night a couple of weekends back. Fans of Lisa Gerard/Dead Can Dance should enjoy this duo’s music, as it often involves medieval and world music elements played with synths, flute, guitar and dulcimer. I’m told they used to have a percussionist, too, which I think would round out their sound beautifully. Dandelion Wine are off to Germany to pursue their creative career. Cool, eh? And finally, kudos to Faith: the new venue in Mary Street is really something else. Spacious, decent dance floor and brilliant set lists (IMHO), with a nice long bar, lots of gorgeous sofas, a chill-out room, Korean restaurant next door … it’s a superb venue. Faith is running every Saturday now, rotating through its various theme nights.