Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Basics- Gasometer Hotel

I have spent the past two nights at the Gasometer Hotel in Collingwood for a couple intimate shows by The Basics.  The opening act both nights was six piece band Sugar Fed Leopards.  Wearing fabulous leopard print and sequins outfits (with sole male member David Bramble in a gold lame suit), they sounded like a 60s girl group with a mix of songs drawing inspiration from Motown, calypso and disco.  Besides having great energy, lovely harmonies and a plethora of different dance moves, they were very entertaining and a lot of fun.

September 2
It was Mary's birthday tonight so we were excited to get to spend it with The Basics.  For the first half of the set we were treated to brand new songs from their upcoming album that has just been recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London.  It was a bit of a bizarro version of The Basics as Tim was playing bass and Kris was on acoustic guitar.  I really liked the political tone of a lot of the new material, with "Whatever Happened To The Working Class" being a true stand out track.  In between the new ones we also got a few covers, including two Crowded House songs: "It's Only Natural" and "Four Seasons In One Day" which led to an interesting discussion of Neil Finn's lyrics.  Unfortunately for Kris he managed to break two strings on his guitar a few songs in, which lead to a funny search for another guitar, and then since it didn't have a strap trying to find something for him to sit on so he could play.  Someone handed him a milk crate, which was really low to sit on so Tim and Wally got to Kris' height by kneeling down, which was funny.  Thankfully they did manage to find a stool for him soon after.

After Kris did a solo version of "All Or Nothing" the boys came back on stage and Kris and Tim switched back to their normal instruments.  They launched into their more well known songs, commencing with Tim singing "Hey Rain."  Poor Wally was a bit hoarse tonight and couldn't really hit the high notes in "So Hard For You" so Kris took over half way through.  Next they played "Lookin' Over My Shoulder" which was restarted in a lower octave so Wally could sing it.  His drum solo was particularly manic as I think he was hitting out his frustrations with his voice.  We were also treated to "Feels Like Love," which included a flute solo by Gideon Brazil (who also played saxophone throughout the night), "Have Love, Will Travel," "My Baby" and the upcoming single "The Lucky Country."  It was a bit of a loose show, but still entertaining.  Mary also got "Happy Birthday" sung (although it was directed at someone else in the room) as well as a quick chat and photo with Wally after the show.

September 3
People may question why I would go to see The Basics on consecutive nights, but it's because no show is ever the same.  Tonight's set was much tighter and focused than last night.  I'm not sure if it was because the ABC was doing some filming or just the fact they had a play of those new songs under their belts.  They started the show once again with "Ashleigh Wakes," and played many of the new songs from last night including "Time Poor," "Whatever Happened To The Working Class," "Goodnight Sunshine" and a song I really like with African beats and Swahili chorus.  Hearing these new songs for a second time allows you to see which ones stick in your head, and there is a Beatles sounding song with a soaring double chorus that I think could be a bit of a sleeper hit.  They once again covered Crowded House's "It's Only Natural," which led to someone in the crowd shouting out they could go on X-Factor.  Wally then told a story about talking to an older woman, and when she asked about his music career he admitted she may have heard one of his songs.  Her response to knowing this worldwide hit was, "You should go on X-Factor!" to which Wally replied "Do I have to?"

We got some new songs in the set tonight, including "Hey There!," "Just Hold On," and newish tracks "Roundabout" (which had the audience clapping along), "I'm A Woman" and "To Think Of You."  Tim played "Hey Rain" and "Have Love, Will Travel" before they finished the main set with a blistering version of "The Lucky Country."  For the encore we once again got a cover of Crowded House's "Four Seasons In One Day" and an audience request for "Better" which was a pretty epic way to end the show.  It was such an amazing gig and I'm super excited for the new EP which is due out next month.  In addition, if the Basics Rock'n'Roll Party (BRRP) gets registered I may even get to vote for them in the Victorian State Election in November.

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