Saturday, June 21, 2014

Essendon v. Adelaide

It's been a tough few weeks for the Essendon Football Club as we've likely lost captain Jobe Watson for the rest of the season due to a hip injury, had 34 current and former players issued with show-cause notices by ASADA over the 2012 supplement program, and managed to lose to Melbourne last week by one point (after kicking 17 behinds). We weren't favorites going into tonight's game against Adelaide, but I had a feeling the players might stand up and fight this week.  Essendon had a fantastic first quarter scoring 7 straight goals to Adelaide's 2 goals and 6 behinds.  This helped set us up for the rest of the game as each side had patches of strong play, including former Bomber Josh Jenkins who kicked 4 goals.  Adelaide managed to close the margin down to 9 points a couple times during the last quarter, which made for a nerve-racking finish, but we managed to hold on and get a confidence boosting win.

Final Score
Essendon: 15.11 (101)
Adelaide: 14.8 (92)

Sunday, June 08, 2014

The Good China Farewell Show

It was very sad when The Good China announced they were calling it a day after six years together, so Mary and I were determined to make their farewell show last night at the Northcote Social Club.  The first band for the evening was Rich Davies and The Little Devils, who played a set of alt-country songs along with a cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game."  Next up was art rock two piece The Stiffys, who may be my new favorite live act.  A hilarious band with positive messages, both members were dressed in matching sailor suits.  They played songs about champagne, being groovy boys and (not surprisingly) sex.  The highlight of their set was when they got an audience member to ride a board on top of the crowd for "Boogie Boarding."

The Good China came out and launched into their newly released song "What You Learnt From The Self Help Section" (which contains the mantra "You won't die alone / You will find new love").  The crowd was really into every song from the start and sang and danced along to old favorites like "You Looked Better A Brunette," "If Pain Persists," "We Found 3 Whistles," and "No More Maps, No More Roads."  There were even a couple new songs in the set, including the other new release from this week "Your Ancestors Were Dinosaurs."  The group paid tribute to the band that inspired them to form with a cover of Arcade Fire's "Wake Up."  It was also nice to hear older and rarer songs like "A Million Little Pieces" that haven't been played live in a while.  I thought the band members did remarkably well to hold it together on stage, and many of them took turns telling little stories between songs throughout the evening. 

For the encore they started with a cover of Jen Lekman's "Maple Leaves" and then we were all ready to hand clap during "All Nothing."  Cara gave her farewell speech and thank yous before the last song of the night, which was the very appropriately titled "We Knew That We Had To Leave."  The band had a group hug before taking their final bows and leaving the stage.  It's so depressing when one of your favorite bands calls it quits, but at least we were able to attend this final show.  All the best to each of the members of The Good China- you will be missed!

Friday, June 06, 2014

The Harpoons- Unforgettable Single Launch

Last night I headed to the Shebeen Bandroom on Manchester Lane for the sold out launch of The Harpoons' latest single "Unforgettable."  The first act was electronic synth pop trio Habits, who ran effects on their vocals and utilised layered loops and a keyboard in their songs.  Sometimes it worked and other times it was a bit of a mess, but I did appreciate their attempt at covering Silk's "Freak Me."  Next up was a DJ set by male and female duo Friendships.  I liked that they included visual projections to go along with their set, which included their remix of The Harpoons' "Unforgettable."  Both acts were rocking a bit of a hipster chav look, which I guess must be a thing.

The crowd had really built by the time The Harpoons hit the stage.  They started their set with "Keep You Around" and played a mix of new songs and more recent tracks such as "Falling For You," a funkier version of "I Walk Away" and "Hold On."  Bec Rigby's voice was absolutely divine and soulful as always, and each band member took a turn on lead vocals throughout the night.  Towards the end of the set they invited the support acts up on stage to play percussion and the audience to sing along on the last three songs, including the single "Unforgettable."  It's always uplifting to see The Harpoons play live and it looks like their debut album will finally be released in August (although I think I'll believe it when I see it).

Here's the video for "Unforgettable"

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