Monday, February 05, 2007
Tonight is a fascinating evening of music no question. A magical blend of personalities, sounds and genres, most of which could be found in opening act The Rise And Demise's set. A relatively new local band and one who spell out in big letters their potential with their unpretentious yet grandiose sound. Neither short on ambition, self-deprecating banter or musical ideas, their keyboard-led, cello-sporting rock veers between meandering blues, confessional folk and GSYBE! emotional epicness. Though some of their songs came across as a little confused and lyrics lost against the wall of slightly muddy keyboard and a lack of dynamics, it's clear that the songs, the sound and the general comfort with which they occupied the stage, make this a band to watch and one who would be more impressive on record.
Pre-empting the arrival on stage of Home Video, a projection of the title screen for the DVD of Koyaanisqatsi. Synchronising it's opening scene with their introduction of neo-gothic soundscape, it proves very difficult to separate image from the sound, so absorbing and rich is that film, every Cure/Factory/Interpol rip-off seemed perfectly blended and executed to update it. Home Video could have been so much given the musical pedigree of keyboardist David Gross, guitarist and vocalist Collin Raffino's attention to fashion and musical detail and often gloriously fragile lead guitar melodies, Jim Orso's sparseness and tightness of rhythm, but the utterly pathetic bass-playing, absymal snare sound and rather lame plea to "dance your ass off" after their "gigantic pop hit" failed to move peeps, was somewhat underwhelming.
That so few turned up for this gig was understandable given that the blinding reviews for the Glaswegian headliner's debut album Wolves hasn't really filtered through in Australia. A band like this perhaps need a few more months of word of mouth to get the red curtain at The Corner pulled back. Those that did come were surely gladdened to their hearts from the moment the five members took to the stage and kicked of a killer set with the beautiful The Ghost The Gutter and Pretty In A Panic which showcases their muscular and beautiful four-part harmonies to glorious effect. If they were to have a film projected over them Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen springs to mind.
My Latest Novel ease into the show and the introduction of melodica and xylophone broadens their sound, which at times, like during the still-impressive When We Were Wolves, gets confused; with four-part harmonies, three guitars and violin all jostling for the hi-mid range and only a bass drum underpinning them. Despite the sparse drumming and an afterthought of occasional bass, several people manage an interpretive dance to their earlier songs, though after discovering they're from Edinburgh singer, Glaswegian singer Ryan kindly tells them to fuck off. The band launch also some new material tonight; a Christmas song and a stellar new track The Valour Still which is surely going to give reviewers cause for more hyperbole; one lyric being:"The Gates of heaven swung open to let him in/He uncrossed his fingers and allowed himself a grin". It's gigs like these that give you that rare "I was there when.." feeling.