Sunday, January 27, 2008

live: the zebras, greg brady & the anchors, ladybird

It's been a busy few days - between work, pop shows and national days of celebration, I've barely had an opportunity to write about all my latest discoveries. Believe me, there's a lot I want to write about, but just not enough time to devote to writing about all of them! Hopefully I can catch up in the next couple of days.

Firstly, a review of Friday night's pop frenzy. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures because I have the worst digital camera in history. My words must suffice in this instance. I arrived just as Ladybird had begun - it was early in the night, and those who were in attendance were treated to an easygoing, charming set by three lovely French boys and a cellist from New Zealand. With a flagrant disregard for covered footwear and a penchant for silly sunglasses, they played simple folky pop songs, with the occasional harmonica and handclap a feature. Highlights included a song about The Vaselines (how can you not like a band who writes about one of Scotland's greatest ever bands??) and a cover of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long", done in a splendid balladeering style. I bought their newest record, "Love Will Conquer All", but sadly I haven't been able to listen to it because I left it in my friend's bag, boooo. Oh yes, and those French accents - oh, I could listen to them all day. My heart skipped beats every time they opened their mouths.

I hadn't seen Brisbane's own Greg Brady & The Anchors play in a while, and it sounds as though he's decided to go a bit more rock of late. Still, his ensemble play a tight set of songs reminiscent of mid 90s indie rock - kinda shoegaze, kinda college rock, but with those underlying pop sensibilities showing that one doesn't betray those Flying Nun roots.

The Zebras were back, playing to an eager (and bloody full) Friday night crowd. Apart from the fact this creepy bearded man kept infringing on any personal space my friend Catherine and I could find for ourselves, it was a great set of their old songs and a couple of new ones. Since moving to Melbourne, they've recruited a couple of new members, and I did feel a bit sad not seeing a couple of old familiar faces on stage. Their sound was still as fun as ever, and I still have mega envy for Jeremy's Rickenbacker. Oh, and it was fun to watch one girl singing along to all the words, because it gives me hope there's still another generation of indie cats willing to fly the pop flag, instead of just hitching a lift on the bloody nu-rave/post-punk bandwagon.

Edit: almost forgot to mention the highlight for the evening was hearing The Mighty Boosh's soup song played between sets. Most inspired DJ choice ever!!

As an aside, might I just say how disappointed I was at how little indie pop featured in the 2007 Triple J Hottest 100. Architecture in Helsinki made it in at number 19, but "Heart It Races" just sounded like they'd been listening to too much Animal Collective. And here I was hoping bands like Klaxons and the Arctic Monkeys would make the top 10 just for the sheer novelty factor! Better than some of the other woeful stuff that made it in. I shake my fist at the Australian voting public, I really do.

No comments: