LIVE: Wasters, Hedge Fund, The Water Board @ Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, 21st Jan

The Water Board

It’s hacking with rain tonight, so thank Santa we’ve got The Water Board to towel us all off. They’re a difficult lot to pin down, with tunes that swerve around a bit between tight control and precision and then just losing their minds. “Peanut” is a ton of fun, smacking of Libertines, all crunchy and picking bits out of your teeth, and the last one – which might have been called “Silver Surfer” – is chock full of feedback and scuzz and is the sort of song that’s in that sweet spot between deafening and grin-inducing and utter filth. I mean that in the nicest possible way, it’s a lot of fun. Good to see them again anyway, they’re growing all sorts of strange musical muscles.

See a full photo set of The Water Board here

Hedge Fund

For one reason and another, I’ve managed to miss seeing Hedge Fund live for aages, but boy was it worth trudging through the damn rain for. The sound and the singer are both tight and wired as hell, a sense of tension you can feel in your bones. In between songs it’s all “thanks heaps” and “hey, thanks for coming”, but while they’re playing, they’re a bundle of nervous twitchery, blisteringly loud at times, minimal and threatening at others, measures of control and chaos in every pour. Your eyes are on the singer, but your ears are diving for cover. What utter fun they are.

See a full photo set of Hedge Fund here


Wasters launch their “Bye Bye Bye” single tonight, and in their loveable excitement to get it out into the world, they play it first song out of the gate. The last time I saw Wasters they were 100% loud guitars – which is hardly a bad thing – but I’ll admit this sort of thing adds depth to the set, and along with their other recent release, “Rollercoaster”, shows off a more cerebral side that leans more towards Snow Patrol than Superchunk.

That fuzzy grunge flavour is still dominant though, and they’re a band who (like all good three-pieces) understand how to fill the room up with sound without needing any more instruments. I can’t find the name of the track they play near the end of the set but I’m still humming the chorus of “I don’t believe in Jesus / I don’t believe in fairytales” all the way home.

See a full photo set of Wasters here