LIVE: Moses Gunn Collective, Noire, Top Lip @ Plan B, Sydney, 13th Feb

Top Lip

So, as I’m coming in the door, there’s this little dude who I swear looks exactly like he’s just stepped off the set of Goodfellas in that scene where the New York crew all go down to Florida, and everyone is five feet tall, old as the hills and complains about fucking everything. It’s that same guy, and boy, is he hacked off that despite the website saying that the gig starts at 8pm, the headliners won’t take the stage until the dizzy hour of 11pm.

“I’m not hanging around until then!” he sputters to the bemused (and, comically, much taller) woman on the door, before his companion spots one of Moses Gunn Collective wandering around and suggests that they go and talk to him about it because grumpy old people and, yeah, that’ll probably work.

To what I gleefully imagine would be continuing impotent fury, his stick-waving, cloud-berating requests to rearrange the stage times to suit him alone are declined, since Top Lip take the stage to kick us off as planned.

It’s a hell of a first show by any yardstick. Confident, happy to be there and with a sackful of songs that spend most of their time lounging around in goofy, charming, psyche – like their excellent current release “Strepsils” – or that batter off into other directions altogether; their last one in particular grows fangs and guitar muscles without warning and tears strips off the walls. Most of the set though dances like a goon somewhere between the Stone Roses’ shuffly indie and Midnight Oil’s dusty Australiana, which really shouldn’t work at all, but which ends up making a strange kind of sense.

A solid effort for a more experienced band, it’s a strong first impression for a live debut – keeping eyes peeled for more.

See a full photo set of Top Lip here

Noire

Noire have a very particular aesthetic – precise, sharp, as cold as the ice in your drink and dressed top to toe in black. To look at, this is high fashion, no passion. Sonically too, it mostly pulses and floats, stripping away many of the rock tropes we associate with bands, adding a near-mechanical polish, an almost factory-perfect precision.

For all that iciness though, it’s still the sound of a broken heart sliding onto a stool in a cocktail bar. There are only keyboards to supply the electronics, so despite coming off like the surface of a glassy lake at midnight, there’s still enough of a raw beating heart to connect with.

See a full photo set of Noire here

Moses Gunn Collective

We learned this week that thanks to Enisteinian physics and gravitational waves, the very fabric of our reality quite literally bends everytime two black holes eat other, a trillion miles away and a billion years ago. The projects that measured this astonishing leap in astrophysics cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and employed the finest minds in science from around the globe for a hundred years, but at the end of it they not only had proof that reality warps, but you can *hear* it when it does.

Honestly though, if they wanted to hear space bend they could have just paid the fifteen bucks entry fee to Plan B for Moses Gunn Collective tonight and saved themselves a lot of time and energy.

Bringing selected parts of the past into the future, coming off like a 1960s “vision of tomorrow”, they meld together spacey guitar lines and bloopy keys to make a sound that would do nicely for Buck Rogers’ house band (ask your dad, kids). “Hole In The Wall” in particular is mammoth, an immense galactic event to send you floating off into inky blackness. Forget the hand stamps on entry, they should have issued space helmets.

See a full photo set of Moses Gunn Collective here

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