Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Ocean Party- Tote Residency

Every Saturday in July has seen The Ocean Party playing at The Tote Hotel Front Bar in support of their recently released EP In A Knot.  Since this was the last Saturday of their residency Mary and I made sure we finally got down there to see them play (despite the rain today).  We arrived as the second band on the bill, MSG, was about to start.  They were a low-fi indie trio with a female lead singer/guitarist and some short, punchy songs.

The Ocean Party began the evening with their two recent singles "On The Floor" and "In A Knot."  Their set list mainly featured songs off their upcoming album Social Clubs, which showcased Lachlan, Curtis and Liam on lead vocals at various points.  It was nice to have a sneak preview of these new tracks, including "Bored of it All," "Sit on the Hill" and "Waiting."  We were also treated to old favorites "The Dogs" and possibly the most honest song ever written about male puberty "Shakin' Like a Leaf."  After the show I had a lovely chat with Lachlan and finally got a copy of The Sun Rolled Off The Hills CD.

Here's the video for "In A Knot" (feel sorry for Lachlan- it was cold when this was shot)

THE OCEAN PARTY - IN A KNOT from Lucky Dolphin on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Empress Hotel 25th Musical Anniversary

The Empress Hotel has spent the past four days celebrating 25 years of live music at the venue.  I have seen quite a few shows here, and even got up on stage to sing Crowded House karaoke with The Basics in 2008.  Mary and I had burgers in the dining room and then headed into the band room for the start of the final night of celebrations.

The first act for the evening was Melbourne duo D.D Dumbo, which consisted of a guitarist and drummer/percussionist.  The lead singer did guitar, drum and/or vocal samples at the start of each song and used those loops to build the songs around.  I thought they sounded great and even played an interesting cover of Roy Orbison's "Crying."  For a band that is just starting out they were very impressive.

The main reason for coming to this gig was the chance to see The Basics live again, although it was just Tim and Wally since Kris is in Kenya working with The Red Cross.  Others must have had the same idea because the boys drew the biggest crowd of any act on the bill tonight.  They started their set with "Second Best" and then humorously launched into "Three Cool Cats" of all songs with the audience clapping along to the rhythm.  "Rattle My Chain" reminded Wally that playing the drums takes a lot of energy (he doesn't play as much for Gotye shows), and Sandra from The Empress came up on stage to dance to their cover of The Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night."  "Call it Rhythm and Blues" had everyone dancing, and after a quick version of "Happy Birthday" for Tim's mum the whole crowd sang along to "Just Hold On."  The last song of the set was "Money (Gimme, Gimme)" and while there were calls for an encore that was it from the boys for the night.  While we did miss Kris, the "Silver Basics" were still fantastic and Wally and Tim had a good time on stage.

The Basics boys were originally billed as DJs for the night, which they also did between sets.  Mary and I were standing between the turn tables and the stage for the evening so we were able to chat with them and Mary talked me into finally getting a photo with Wally (he was being very generous with the numerous fans who were coming up to him after The Basics set).  I think my favorite memory of the night was when Tim and Wally had their arms around each other and were reaching out to me as they sang "We are your friends."

There was a mystery band added to the bill last minute under the moniker "Presidents and Shitkickers" who I correctly guessed was Melbourne's very own Big Scary. Tom and Jo played some old songs from their EPs and recent album Vacation as well as a few new ones.  Highlights included "Falling Away," "Purple," "Gladiator," "Mix Tape" and the last song of their set and one of my favorites, "Autumn."

The final act of the evening was The Bedroom Philosopher (aka Justin Heazlewood) and his Awkwardstra.  Justin is another comedian who I have been meaning to catch at the comedy festival but haven't, so I was excited to finally see him live.  He started his set by regurgitating a couple of small instruments and then launched into "The Bedroom Philosopher."  His songs had us laughing throughout and my favorites were "Cars 2," "Inanimate Electronic Helper," and a reworked version of his hit song "Northcote (So Hungover)" with YouTube comments on the video replacing the verses.  In the spirit of the night he wrote and performed a "Song for The Empress" and finished with "Corporate Punk" just in time for curfew.

This was a wonderful gig overall and a great celebration of a venue that continues to support and discover new talent.  I hope The Empress Hotel has many more years of live music to come as they are an important part of the Melbourne music scene.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Flight of the Conchords- 2012 Australian Tour

Poster by Jason Munn
Mary and I were fortunate enough to attend the Flight of the Conchord's sold out show at The Plenary in the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre tonight.  Although our tickets were off to the side and a bit further back than I would have liked, thankfully the venue had screens on either side of the stage so we were able to see what was happening throughout the evening. 

The opening act was stand-up comedian and fellow Marinite Arj Barker, who also played Bret and Jemaine's friend Dave in the FOTC tv series.  Arj is a frequent visitor to Melbourne, and it was good to finally get to see him live as I unfortunately haven't made it to any of his comedy festival shows.  I enjoyed his set, including his funny observations about building design in Melbourne.

Bret and Jemaine snuck out onto the stage in the darkness after Arj finished and launched into "Too Many Dicks (On the Dance Floor)" complete with decorated cardboard boxes on their heads.  They then swung the boxes around to the silver painted side to play one of my favorite songs of theirs "Robots."  The band for this tour consisted of Bret, Jemaine and Nigel Collins on cello and drums (the only "member of the NZSO" they brought over to Australia with them).  The show ran for two hours and was full of songs from the tv show as well as some new ones.  Highlights included "Inner City Pressure," "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros," "Bowie," "The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)," "Hurt Feelings" and "Business Time."  In between songs they told stories about their "wild" rock life on the road, which all tied together nicely in the lyrics of one of the encore songs "Back on the Road."  We were also treated to some skin tight glam era outfits for "Demon Woman," which had the boys displaying a lot of chest hair as well as some wire filled scarves and capes to make it look like they were in front of a wind machine.  Overall it was very entertaining and funny night and hopefully one of these days there will be a season three of the Flight of the Conchords tv show.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...