Monday, November 16, 2009


Friday, November 02, 2007 
East Brunswick Club

Severe fringes and sharp hem-lines are in. At least tonight among fans of the Kiwi girl wonder that is Bachelorette. With another dynamite line-up assured to capitalise on kids recently released from their exams, Switchblade Sisters are proving they're becoming promoters par excellence, and tonight is another jauntily placed feather in their cap. Opening to the dozen or so early-comers, Flying Scribble play a joyously upbeat set. With a near giddy sense of fun and abandon, it was a revelation to hear them through a decent PA and to see the crowd transformed from interested onlookers to shameless dancers and grinning accomplices. Honed from their recent overseas busking trip, there is a kind of loose telepathy between the two that belies the tight control they wield. This makes songs like Tree To Tree (with it's gorgeous vocal harmonies and roughshod beat), the near-calypso crowd pleasing Puzzlemind and the catchy closer Concrete Feet excitingly unpredictable yet oddly familiar; a rare combination indeed.

Actor/Model follow and seem to channel their Faint-esque bravado through the awkward charisma of a first time bingo caller. Though songs are a stellar blend of pop and noise, they do tend to follow the pattern of starting off with an excitingly smart beat, bringing in a fantastic guitar or keyboard melody then wigging out in a way that sounds as if someone had briefly cut the band's sound and put on side 4 of Daydream Nation for a few minutes before returning to the aforementioned killer beats and catchy hooks. Bar these (not entirely unwelcome) recurring moments of Nostalgia 87', Actor/Model do have sounds that are genuinely exciting and there is no reason a decent release shouldn't see JJJ loving the pants off them, maybe in a few years when this era gets the almighty going over in the way 1982 is now.

The same cannot be said for Fabulous Diamonds, a band pushing a very different barrow. Though some seem to think of this duo as virtual revolutionaries, tonight they are tedious as only a guy mucking around with a delay pedal and girl playing beats that sound like they are can be. Their unengaging presence and near identical song structures can't hide the obvious talent here though. Singer and drummer Nisa Venerosa's voice is commanding in a way few other performer's are and her occasional lyrics are intriguing ("Cities on cities on cities" x 8) before being worn down with repetition. Songs sound as if they're crying out for another layer, or at least some warmth, but all we get is a pretentious coldness that seems out of place on tonight's bill followed by a terse "goodnight".

At last, taking up the whole stage with her guitar and amp, laptop and projector and bank of keyboards comes Bachelorette. Following a false start, 10 minutes of technical problems (admirably covered by stilted improvisations that reveal her humble and humourous fluster - and the good natured patience of her fans), we get the 60s cyber girl-group sounds of Doo Wop followed by the sublime glistening pop of A Lifetime. Backed by projections of moonscapes and soundwaves, "Bichilorit" (as she calls herself) seems to take a little while to ease into he show after the initial difficulties. Allowing herself a few wry smiles at the enthusiastic dancers that I Want To Be Your Girlfriend brings out, she is soon joking and 'apologising for needing something to apologise for'. She needn't apologise for anything though, the sound is fantastic and her meticulously crafted and wonderfully dorky songs are warmly rendered and evern more warmly received. The closing canon of My Electric Husband, On The Four and The End Of Things makes the perfect ending to a great gig, and the best place to escape to on this rainy night.

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