A difficult night not so much due to the quality of performance from the artists as general exhaustion taking its toll — and the inferior quality of some of these photos probably bears this out.
Seja Vogel is really upbeat and fantastic in Sekiden. So, why a stilted, awkward performance that comes across like she’s tooling in her bedroom? Maybe she’s aiming for raw and unpolished, but unfortunately, the dirge-like drone of keyboards loops and drum machine comes across more of the order of unrehearsed. Stemford Hiss follow with Church-like atmospherics but sans the presence of someone a Steve Kilbey figure. DZ then blow the cobwebs away with jack-booted efficiency. I’d previously heard their impressive tune The Mess Up via the wonderful Brisbane Sounds compilation, but it simply didn’t prepare me for their sonic brutality. Wave after wave of thick, chunky chords force-fed to the audience at ultra-high high volume. A revelation.
This leaves I Heart Hiroshima a bit of a mountain to climb, but they seem tight and not-at-all jaded after flogging their wares around Europe the last couple of months. The new stuff has bedded down well — I’m really liking Shakeytown now — and it sits well alongside the older material. Their rendition of The Chills’ Pink Frost is tops. They ought to drop Red Hands from the repertoire though — I think it’s a bit slow, one-paced and not particularly inventive. But, by this time, I’m simply exhausted and even though crowd and band are still going at it hammer and tongs, I head home early.