Sunday, July 4, 2010


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

From the opening thrums of Milk Teddy to the closing looped melodies of Great Earthquake, tonight’s show ranks as one of the year’s best so far, and it’s a safe bet that the punters packing out the band room feel the same.

The humble majesty of Milk Teddy has rarely been better held than in their closing song Michael. Shoegaze-slanted chords, intriguing half-captured lyrics and meandering melodies with the welcome addition of The Motif’s Alexis Hall give the band a lift over other lo-fi charmers.

Another band only getting better with more gigs is Love Connection who tonight prove they’re turning into one of the best bands this city can call their own. With barely a gap between songs, their set is a stunning example of pacing, dynamics, effervescent melodies and motorik rhythms. When a band is this early into its existence, there is a rate of change and growth unlikely to be experienced later on. Despite playing songs from their album, there is a change in accentuation and possibly unintentional reinvention that means the songs are constantly morphing from something gently familiar into another beast entirely, kind of like Professor Lupin. Tonight the keyboards sit back in the mix and so forcefully are rhythms pushed to the fore that singer Michael Caterer snaps drumsticks. When hooks, such as the timelessly wonderful Lost City of Gold emerge they’re like rays of sun bursting through swelling cloudbanks. Their brand new closing song – a fuzzy slab of radiance forced up against Neu-esque rhythm breaks – is a highlight, but what really shines is the future this band are driving headlong into.

Astonishingly more than up to the task of following that set is Noah Symons who sets expectations low by being a man sitting behind the support band’s drum kit, a bass and electric guitar, an accordion and a xylophone and with (nooo!!!) a loop pedal. Just when this format hasn’t been done to death already, Symons takes preconceptions and happily sends them packing. Playing what turns out to be hundreds of parts all perfectly first time, Symons is a master of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction. Songs tend to begin with simple rhythms or melodies, build to a dense velocity, break away and finish with some of the busiest drumming this side of the VCA. Undone somewhat by terrible acoustics, cheap amplification and average microphones, Great Earthquake nevertheless launches his début album in style; when an encore of Joy Division’s Disorder seems wholly justified, this is one impressive talent on a steep trajectory.

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