Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Basics May Residency

Each Tuesday in May The Basics are playing a residency at Northcote Social Club in support of the release of their new EP Wait For You. The usual suspects (aka Tash, Mary and I) were in attendance and here is a report of what happened at the shows.

May 11
Lachlan Bryan from The Wildes had the opening slot this week. He played a solo acoustic set and told some very funny stories to intro his songs. Unlike for many opening acts, the audience was actually quiet and listening to him sing instead of chatting away. It was good to see some musical manners in Melbourne.

I didn't make it to the first week of the residency, but had heard reports about what a disastrous performance The Basics gave last week, which had me worried. There are obvious tensions within the band, and it seems they had a therapeutic paintball session together over the weekend. This week was better than last, but it's still not quite up to standard. The set list was about half covers and half band songs. Kris played the first few songs wearing a parka (it has gotten cold, but not that cold) and took a phone call on stage from someone in the audience. "Second Best" got an extended heavy jam in the middle of it, and "With This Ship" was played when they pulled the plug on another song. It was mostly Wally singing lead tonight with "Memory Lane," "Just Hold On," and "Rattle My Chain" in the set. They also played the title track from their new EP "Wait For You," which is actually an older song that just hasn't been released before. Some of the covers throughout the evening included The Cure's "Lovesong," Electric Coconut's "Jungle Juice," which then led into Harry Nilsson's "Coconut." We also had a rocking version of The Beatles' "Day Tripper" and an audience request for George Harrison's "Got My Mind Set On You."

May 18
The Basics are nearly back! What a difference a week makes. Although Kris was still a bit off, they were smart this week and had a fan make the set list. We got a lot more Basics this time, which made me happy. They began the evening with the rarely played "Get Me Down," which is a b-side on the latest album and also included on the EP. Other rarities played included "Lovin' Man," "Call It Rhythm and Blues," and "Keep The Door Open." As always it was good to hear "Better" and my favorite "The No. 1 Cause of Death Amongst Youth Today." All the new songs on the EP got an airing with the inclusions of "Wait For You" and "I Could Be Happy" in the set list. Towards the end of the set Kris ran off stage to go to the bathroom, so we got a bit of surf guitar music from Tim and Wally. Covers were kept to a minimum, but they did play Neil Young's "Southern Man," a beautiful a cappella version of Bill Scott's "Hey Rain" and The Police's "Roxanne" for an encore. It's Wally's 30th birthday on Friday, so I hope he has a good one!

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