Sunday, July 4, 2010


Monday, November 02, 2009
The Birmingham

By the time Summer Cats take to the stage (8:20PM to be exact), boasting new member, guitarist Jeremy Cole, the Birmingham is still mostly empty. Let's Go kicks off for what is a middling set for Summer Cats but one that still reaches heights most bands will never know due to the sheer energy, simplicity and integrity of their dedication to the art of the sub-three-minute pop song. Guitarist Scott Brewster defies a dodgy strap to finish Lonely Planet clinging to the guitar neck, while In June and Paperweight vie for song of the evening. Their CD launch on the 13th will be unmissable.

Wifey, from Sydney, are a band I would love to be able to review but they are simply too pedestrian to leave any sort of impression, even though I'm writing this as they play. They are simply so uncharismatic and their plodding indie rock so hook-less, unatmospheric, dank and uninspiring, the dour pointless banter (‘In Canberra, people sing More Beer to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. Hmm…there’s not much to do there,’) becomes a highlight. The band sell t-shirts and have about $7000 worth of gear but still aren’t beyond their first EP. The singer does suggest we may be as bored at him part way through the gig, so they're not without some insight. A closing Jonathan Richman cover is an easy highlight and at least showcases their competent musicianship.

Tonight the effortlessly stylish Brunettes inadvertently launch their new CD and rerelease their first ever EP; 'cassingle was the main format when we released the Rollerskates EP' says singer Jonathan Bree dolefully. Though the venue is only half full, they win us over with a set comprised of most of the new album Paper Dolls. The new songs are surprisingly sparse, percussion-heavy, feature more prominent synths and samples and are less guitar-driven than those on Structure and Cosmetics. Ex-bassist Hayden East impressively triples as tour manager, sound guy and backing vocalist, but this level of awesomeness simply blends in with their set. New song Bedroom Disco is stellar, Boyracer still glows, Her Harigami Set is radiant, and the Jem and the Holograms-referencing Cotton Candy shines. To what must be one of their smallest audiences in a long time the band are almost impossibly tight. An encore of one of their first ever songs Red Rollerskates seals the deal on this gig. Don’t miss them next time they’re here.

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