Old favourites, new favourites
Richard Cuthbert has been around the block, and tonight he’s here with his three-piece band who, as per the Courtney Barnett Act 2015 that governs the naming of three-pieces, are now nicknamed the RC3. Stepping in at the last-minute to cover for Neighbours, we get treated to one of the most charming and lovely sets of geeky Weezer-ish fun I’ve heard in an age. Each one’s got a handmade feel but never comes off less than polished, it’s instantly engaging and it’s just utterly adorable. “Twinkle Toes”, “Now I’m On My Way” and the closing blast of pop gorgeousness that is “Swimming Pool” were stand-outs, but it’s grins all round. I wish I had more thumbs, so they could all be up.
Hunch are no strangers round here, and are well and truly in the groove now of running a show; tonight, they treat us to the continuing evolution of a band growing ever-bigger teeth. With more Ian Dury-ish spoken word amid the grunge, there’s a ton of balance in the set now, but it’s still the ones where they lose it that are both the most fun to listen to and the most fun they clearly have playing. Set-closer “Close My Eyes” sees them goofing about trying to remember how to play it and then knocking the damn doors off the hinges.
Moreton are on their first headline tour tonight, after causing a rideable swell of excitement with their entrance into the world earlier in the year. The tracks that are out in the wild – including “The Water”, “Johana”, and “Specimen” – all get shaken out tonight, and the reception here feels (presumably) as impressed as the one they got from label Create/Control, who signed them up earlier in the year on the strength of just their very first recorded output. Don’t get me wrong, no-one’s jumping up and down or hurling themselves off the rafters – this is by some distance the slowest band I’ve seen in years – but it’s impressive, that’s the only word I can think of. The technical skill is out of this world and the songwriting is so out of kilter with everything else going on it lights up the room like a flamethrower going off. Portishead, Tricky, Massive Attack, the whole of Bristol, England circa 1993 is the reference on record, but it’s got a way more buzzsaw edge live – new one “Ink Blot” – described as, “for all the nihilists in the room” – is slow but scuzzy, soaring but rough-edged. It’s early doors for them, but there’s precious little other artists there right now that are brave enough to buck the trend in this sort of direction. More power to them.
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