Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Monday, June 04, 2007 
Wesley Anne

All of tonight's performers are known for their punchlines more than their guitar lines, so it was intriguing that the lineup sees a gradual shift away from comedic acousticary to well-written songs that just happen to be funny. Without exception, each performer's newer songs were an improvement on an already impressive repetoire and there is nothing quite like a song as an extension of a performer's personality to get people involved. Tonight shows a start in comedy can lead to on-stage confidence that conventional musicians often lack.

A warmly bucolic Wesley Anne is full of ruddy-cheeked Northcote-types who divide their attention between each other and the stage, upon which the exceedingly handsome Matt Kelly plays his first gig standing. His short, daft and poignant (sometimes alternately, often simultaneously) songs are helped immeasurably by his wonderful voice and disarming manner that let you forgive his under-rehearsal. Whether musing on the blood pressure of a giraffe or slipping a lyric like 'If I've got anything left to give you, it's this and it's yours' into a song entitled You Shook Me All Afternoon, Kelly does prove to have a keen ear for relationship dynamics, many examples of which involve revered girls, faulting boys and alcohol. It's these songs which pack a bigger punch and it will be interesting to see where his path takes him.

Soon enough the totally engaging and bafflingly cool Josh Earl is regaling us with 'font humour' and a truckload of fantastic new songs. Stupid Jokes sees him siding with his girlfriend about his unfortunate habit of joking about things that upset her, The Dali Museum indicates a move away from going for laughs and brings out Earl's knack for relevant irreverent details, while a venue-hushing new song What Ifs, is nothing short of flooring in it's accuracy of phrase, rendered all the more powerful for coming between the jaunty and hilarious Fitted Sheets and Julian Nation-referencing Indie Anne.

After the languid pace of Earl, The shoeless and emerald-shirted Bedroom Philosopher AKA Justin Heazelwood comes across like a hurricane of inspiration and witticisms. Flailing at his guitar with scant regard for mic technique Heazelwood occasionally extends his songs into the physical comedy realm (Medium Ted, perfect example) and gets big laughs. It's lucky for us that his musical chops are strong enough for him to leave behind the go-for-the-gags hilarity and move into the more observational folk rock as proved by songs like What Am I Supposed To Be Doing, For The Love I Have for You and The Happiest Boy. The revelation of the evening is his resurrection of his first ever song, an instrumental called Angel Skin that would have John Butler wide-eyed. The final two songs I'm So Postmodern and I'm So Over Girls both implode into farcical improvisations which end with him crawling backward off stage in an ultimate exhibition of regressive infantilism. Thankfully the laugh factor and songwriting skills see the therapeutic effects extend to the audience and judging by this show, his forthcoming album will be a corker.

DISCLAIMER: Andy Hazel is a sometime musical associate of The Bedroom Philosopher.

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