Thursday, July 16, 2009

Love Buckling the Angry Birds

So it seems that I only post here once a year or so. I've been prompted to post because, as some people who know me from a band forum or two **cough** MFN **cough** Small Mercies **cough** will remember, after I go to a gig I like to write a bit of a blow-by-blow account. Usually it's a chance to spark some comment and also share the night with people who couldn't be there.

Unfortunately for me, the artists I went to see this evening don't have a forum (at least not one I'm aware of) so therefore I required an alternate outlet for this little monologue. I thought to myself "...remember that blog thingy you've never really used..." so here I am.

Well I had a busy night tonight for a "school night". It began with a quick stop back at home to change clothes. After that I jumped in my car and headed off towards The Zoo for the first performance of my evening.

After parking my wonderful vehicle safely at the Warner St carpark I got out to hear the sounds of The Love Buckles doing their sound check. I then ventured into the brisk Brisbane night air and crossed Ann St to get to The Zoo just as the doors were opened at 8pm.

For a few moments I wandered back and forth not recognising any faces. The Buckles boys were obviously chilling backstage (or whatever they do back there) so I thought I'd pull out my mobile and check Twitter...

What's this?! No mobile? **cut to image of mobile in centre console of car** DAMN!

So then there was a quick trip to retrieve my communications device. During which I greeted @NicoleJensen, @theroundup and others outside the venue. Back inside and I chatted with them for a while until @iCharlotte appeared to say hello. She introduced me to some more wonderful people who had come out to support the guys.

So The Love Buckles appeared on stage, picked up their instruments and without much ado launched into their first song. This prompted a quick shuffle of Love Buccaneers (I just made that up! Cute, huh?) towards the front of the venue. I have to say, from the very first song they sounded great!

Normally this is the part of the review where I relate half the set-list from memory. Unfortunately I'm not sufficiently familiar with these tracks to do that as yet. I certainly recognised (and sung along to) "Dave Grohl" and thought "Blues" was another stand out.

What I was familiar with was how the guys sounded at the other two gigs I'd seen. Compared to those two this evening they sounded fantastic. They were tighter, the drums were sharper and cleaner, the vocals were clearer and louder in the mix (without being too loud). A venue designed to be a music venue, rather than a pub, was partially how that was achieved. I think the other part was Frank, Brady, Aaron and Matt rising to the occasion.

All in all, a fantastic show guys! I'd love to see the boys do a few tweaks with a couple of the songs though. For one, I think Blues is a great song to end the set. However what it does need once the song breaks back down to the blues riff, rather than just ending, is to build it up again to a big finish. That way there is a bit of a flourish to wind things up. As it was I felt the end lacked a full stop.

Next I said some hasty goodbyes (apologies to any I missed) and jumped in my car to head to the Treasury Casino. Performing there was Ben Stewart along with a few special guests. I arrived late unfortunately. However I was just in time to see Ben's bass player take Ben's acoustic. He started playing a haunting and beautiful song which I believe was an Irish tune. I quickly secured a drink and settled in to watch.

After that Ben took the stage again and they did several tunes. The night, as jokingly mentioned on stage, seemed to be the "Ben Stewart Variety Hour" with several performers joining Ben on stage even in the relatively short time I was there.

The final song turned out to be "Cell Block Tango" from Chicago which Ben performed along with the help of both his bass player and three lovely ladies from the audience. No, they weren't chosen at random. They were the always fantastic Emma Dean, Jill Geurts (who I recently saw as "Miranda" in Zen Zen Zo's rendition of "The Tempest") and another friend of Ben's whom I did not have the pleasure of meeting properly.

All up I had a great evening thanks not only to the many amazing performers I saw, but also the wonderful people I shared it with.

So now, since it is the wee hours of the morning, I must sign off this post and find my blankets. If you enjoyed reading this let me know and I'll try to ramble more frequently in future. Until next time, farewell!