Tuesday, November 18, 2008

brisbane is as brisbane is: cut off your hands & ninetynine

I managed to have my faith in Brisbane nightlife completely crushed then somewhat restored in the space of two days. Most would be aware my relationship with this city teeters on the side of utter disdain most of the time anyway, but oh boy, Saturday night did little to inspire me with confidence in Brisbane's future potential.

I made the mistake of venturing out to see New Zealand's Cut Off Your Hands. I should have known better - they're NME it-kids at the moment, and their songs are all over the radio. They have a couple of catchy songs, they played a show in New York with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart recently, and Bernard Butler produced their debut album. It was enough to pique my interest - that, and I felt like doing something, anything on Saturday night.

Big mistake. The music was tepid, uninspired anthemic indie-by-numbers, with nary an ounce of spark or magic to liven up the stage, and they played their radio hit single first up. I feel sorry for Bernard Butler at this point. The crowd was awful - I nearly fought a guy with three rats tails after his tall friend stood in front of little Ariadne and didn't want to budge, and the rest of the pack were just swarming faux-fashion hipsterettes. Urgh.

On the flipside, Sunday night presented an opportunity to see the wee Laura Macfarlane enchant the small Rics crowd with her delightful band, Ninetynine. With their amazing Casio lines and a drummer who plays like Animal from the Muppets, I was fixed from the first note.

Laura's voice soared above the sometimes krautrock rhythms, equally haunting, tribal, noisy and catchy. My highlight, however, was watching her play the marimbas - I'm awfully impressed when I see people play them. How can one be so co-ordinated to hit those keys at the same time and sing as well?

In support of Ninetynine were Brisbane's Do The Robot, and I think I'd like to see them again sometime soon. They've been compared to Life Without Buildings on occasion, but I detect a healthy shoegaze influence in there, too. Have a listen to the track "Six Dreams Counting" on their myspace page - the glasgow school, anyone? Splendid stuff!


Jerry said...

Damn it. Really? Ninetynine played and I didn't know. Alex, you gotta write me occasionally!

brogues said...

Oooh...so jealous that you saw ninetynine! They showed up in Glasgow a couple of times (that I saw) and they put on wonderful shows in the basement of The 13th Note. Hee hee...they even made Black Sabbath sound good with the dual xylophone cover!