Solid Effort are Woollongong-based, and their GBV-ish meanderings are a hazy mess of easy-going vibes and some hectic shots of hardcore espresso. The first part of the set is tight and moody, a bag of twitching nerves, which goes from from intelligent guitars and keyboards into some ramshackle lightspeed racket, serving as a pleasurable stab in the kidneys. The last song lasts about three days, but they’re clearly enjoying themselves, so the hell with it. It’s my first time seeing them, but there’s a lot to love here.
See a full photo set of Solid Effort here
Flowertruck, the only truly local band on the bill tonight, are having a ball. There is dancing down the front, and many faces are pulled as they jangle their way through their super-wired set. There’s only one gear here and it’s locked into the one where Cure fans and PiL fans and jangle fans and twee fans and fans of being pretty drunk and dance-y can enjoy. Penultimate tune “Sunshower” just runs away with it, joyful and crazed and pretty all at the same time. They’re local and they’re loved, and for good reason.
See a full photo set of Flowertruck here
The Goon Sax seem surprised at the turnout tonight, and their surprise is surprising, given the curiosity value they provide. Aside from the debut LP out on the not-small Chapter Records, or the fact they’re legally prohibited from buying beer in the venue they’re playing in, or the positive tidal wave of blog frothery surrounding them, there is the elephant-shaped fact that there’s a bloodline here to an actual Go-Between – all of which make this show is a near impossibly tempting one to check out. I suspect many are here simply because of that last little genetic factoid. Happily for all though, this is a strong set that stands in no man’s shadow.
They open with the title track from their Up To Anything LP, and the set from there – including three new ones – strum and thrum, mostly with that fizzy acoustic undertow, a brisk and surprisingly restrained element from a band whose age would normally dictate unrestrained buckets of crazy. They are in control and self-aware, funny and wry and clever in the songwriting. There are about sixteen different points when I’m reminded of David Gedge and The Wedding Present, even though there’s virtually no squall of distortion across the set – which for a new band contains a huge amount of songs.
It bugs me when people call teenage bands “wise beyond their years” because it’s perfectly possible to be seventeen years old and have heard enough music to know what good sounds like, and to have immersed yourself enough in the music that inspires you to have a handle on how to craft a well put-together song. This outfit aren’t weird, or unusual, or prodigious – they’re the new normal. But fuck me, they set a bloody high bar – and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
See a full photo set of The Goon Sax here