The night before the Apocalypse, the party kicked off
Barefoot Alley are Brisbane-brother-and-sister but there’s very little sunshine here. Whatever shack this two-piece live in, it has a hole in the roof, the landlord’s coming for the rent, and the rats have eaten all the food. This is dirty stuff, bluesy White-Stripes-y eeeeooaargh, thumping and distorted into weird shapes. They sound like they’re having an argument, and it’s a lot of fun.
Australia are one of those bands I’ve been meaning to catch for a while, and happily they’re easily as good as I’d figured. It’s danceable but laced with a sense of doom, guitars that want to be disco but can’t help but feeling a bit miserable about it. Maybe it’s the baritone vocal. Either way, just as I can’t work out why I’m really enjoying, they bust out a cover of Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”, which for most other bands would be an emarrassing catastrophe but here ends up being an announcement that translates to “we want to sound like this! We’re pretty fucking good at it too! Also – dancing!” They end on “Who R U?”, which ends the set on a typically black-edged but triumphant note. Worth the wait.
By the time the latest six-piece incarnation of long-time Ted’s faves Velociraptor take the stage, the party is off to the races. We can’t know that in less than 24 hours, Donald Trump will become the President-Elect of the US, but there’s a distinct feeling of the last party before the Apocalypse in the air. If the end must come, it should come to a soundtrack like this.
The crowd, and especially the young lunatics in the front – “you’re drunk – I respect that”, comments Jeremy Neale – know what they’re getting tonight, and Frankie’s is once more turned into a frenzy made from dancing, grinning bunches of crazies. We get the old ones, we get the ones off the last record – including a barn-burning “Ramona” to close out – but best of all we get two new ones. One in particular, the gloriously-titled “Hunk With A Hunch” is apparently out imminently, and it’s the earworm your summer has been looking for. This is classic ‘Raptor, the chorus (and indeed most of the song) consisting of the words “uh-huh”, “yeah” and a whole fistful of key changes. They’re having a hoot playing it, and we all collectively lose our brains.
As always, it’s reliably crazed, daft as a sack of badgers, and an absolute bloody pleasure.
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