Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Monday, April 30, 2007 
Exile On Smith Street

This increasingly used and fast-becoming-cool venue was home to a jovial crowd this ANZAC day eve; lining the stairway, balcony and spreading across the floor like warm, pulsing, darkly-striped lichen fed on slants of bracing synth-sunshine. In Bachelorette's words: "Let's celebrate being self-indulgent middle-class kids 'cause our grandfathers fought for this," and so it was, another concise case of sound trans-Tasman relations.
Though battling against a dodgy PA and unable to leave her keyboard, Bachelorette's performance and songs shone through like those aforementioned slants. Incorporating multi-layered vocals, warmth synth chords, jangling guitar, a deft line in affecting (if barely audible) lyrics, obvious songwriting nous and a humble elegance, this was a low-key gig that shone like an oven light. Tracks In The Four and A Lifetime were wonderfully rendered and received in a surprisingly noisy and appreciative way. Seeming unfazed by all that the night threw at her, Bachelorette thanked "My Aussie brothers and sisters" and with a killer version of My Electric Husband, and despite calls for more ("venues closing at 11 o'clock, what's WITH this city?" she cries), she folds her laptop and slips away.

DJ Applejack plays a cracking selection of indie rock classics that the dying PA renders almost unidentifiable, but, given that your mind fills in the parts you can't hear, it's a fun and diverting game.
Beneath a televised loop of The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai (don't ask) Actor/Model appear and made the state of the PA perfect for their could-explode-any-second energy. Overdriving everything and smashing cymbals with deafening regularity they thankfully take the guitar/keyboard/drum/shouty vocals to new and exciting places, with Daydream Nation as a road-map. It's a thrilling journey with stop-offs My Agent Says and first set closer Laptop Dancing highlights. Potential indulgent tangents are reigned in and left as potentials thereby strengthening their songs, while main singer Ricky/French galvanises gazes with his onstage presence. A very pregnant Karen/Anson is perhaps one clue for this being their last gig as this lineup which is surely a loss for the Melbourne live scene. One thing for sure is that their songs are good enough, their riffs taut enough and the lyrics memorable enough to make a reconfiguration of Ricky/French's songs worth checking out in whatever form (or indeed, if) they re-emerge. And if not, the CD they were launching tonight, already gathering fans online, is testament to this ace era of Actor/Model.

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