Æ: Aglet Eaters

Gig Guide 2011: Honourable Mentions

Posted in Live, Rediscover, Review by R on November 27, 2011

1. Dean and Britta playing the songs of Galaxie 500

I’m not the biggest Galaxie 500 fan, I think it’s because I don’t understand why they’re categorised as shoegaze when I can clearly make out all the lyrics. Also, Dean’s voice sounds a bit off key to me, but no one else seems to notice so I wonder if I’m just imagining it. That hasn’t stopped me from enjoying their albums, however. Except I don’t enjoy them for the reasons I enjoy shoegaze. So you see they perplex my simple mind a great deal, and as a result I feel a bit guilty, somewhat fraudulent for not appreciating them as much as I ought to. Nonetheless, Dean and Britta put on an excellent show when they played. It was the sort of gig you step out of feeling satisfied. They played the right songs, the right mix of old/new, the vocals were just right, the sound quality was perfect, and we were just the right distance from the stage. A nice, refreshing, fulfilling show.

2. Primal Scream playing Screamadelica (support: Underground Lovers)

I had been looking forward to this show for months! Underground Lovers AND Primal Scream? Talk about two dreams coming true at once! 2.5 if you make the JAMC connection, but we won’t. Unfortunately, we all know what happens when you look forward to something too much. Something goes wrong. In this case, it was a poorly timed comment after I had bounced my feet off to Underground Lovers and was buzzing with anticipation for the next. I pushed to the front so Bobby Gillespie would be able to sing to me more effectively (I don’t do this standing middle-of-the-crowd thing). “Why?” I was asked “you don’t even like them that much!”.

Fizzle.

Sigh.

It was a great gig though – everyone in top form, and the wispy Gillespie weaving some sort of spell over the audience, well aware of his charisma. It didn’t make the top owing to the rapid sap of adrenaline, but hey! I am a delicate petal, what of it? Oh you agree, do you? Well why don’t you come over here and say that, eh?

Also a buzzkill: the encore was ‘Rocks’ and the crowd that had been so shockingly listless through all of Screamadelica, exploded. Jumping up and down, pushing their way forward, stomping on my delicate petal foot. More exitement for ‘Rocks’ than ‘Loaded’?! Damn lamestreamers.

 

Image nicked from Faster Louder

Gig Guide 2011 #2: Alcest

Posted in Live, Rediscover, Review by R on November 19, 2011

I knew I had to go, but I was complacent – no one knows Alcest here. I’ll get tickets by-and-by.

The first show sold out.

Sheet.

Panic.

Second show announced.

It seems I had underestimated the number of attentive shoegazers in Melbourne. Needless to say, I booked my tickets at the speed of light.

I left beloved boyfriend’s birthday dinner early so I could get a spot near the front. This is the boyfriend who was going to be accompanying me to the same show, but I refused to wait for dessert (“Gaze Over Guys”, that’s my motto).

The doors opened later than they should’ve so by the time sweet-imbibing bf showed up the first band had only just started. Can I just reiterate that I gave up dessert for a band that wasn’t going to hit the stage for another two hours and can I also state that I have never sacrificed dessert for a human being in my entire life. I only do these crazy things for music. There should be an award for such heroism.

While milling about waiting for the first band to go up, I worked out why those tickets had sold out so fast. I was the lone shoegazer in a sea of metalheads. And Melbourne’s gotta lotta metalheads.

There were going to be two support acts before Alcest went up, so the show was in three stages. Each stage was marked by a smell.

The first band was a local metal group called Encircling Sea. I dug them, so I am assuming they were good. I hardly have the authority to comment, but I got into it, so did the people around me so there y’go. Unfortunately, this phase of the show smelled of Not Enough Deodorant. No fault of the chaps on stage, it was lurking somewhere within the audience.

All was saved when the second band took the stage. A local post-rock outfit called Heirs with a girl bassist. This is an important point to make because, as you might already know, girls like nice-smelling things. She placed an electric incense diffuser right at the foot of the stage where it sat quietly radiating a lovely, delicate scent as Heirs played some exceptional post-rock.Very tight, very pro, I don’t know why I hadn’t heard of them before (probably because I am not terribly cool)

But enough of that. Now it’s time for Alcest. I heard someone cry out “NEEJ!” as the band crept onstage and I did not cringe (so I get another award).

The sound was a bit shaky at first. We can’t hear you, Neige! we moaned after they’d opened with ‘Le Secret’. Neige kindly asked the sound guy to crank up his vox. What’s that… They’re maxed out? Nothing to do but shrug and carry on. Neige and crew played ‘Souvenirs’, ‘Printemps’ and ‘Iris’ off Souvenirs. From Ecailles, they played ‘Ecailles 1 & 2’ and gave me a pleasant shock when they also played ‘Solar Song’ – the song from my Least Likely List. They played a new song, and there were also one or two others in there that I can’t recall anymore. They mostly pandered to the metalheads and as the gig progressed I gradually accepted that seeing ‘Ciel Errant’ live would remain a dream as of course, the shoegazers were the less valuable faction of the audience. A justifiable situation as there are fewer of them. The crowd screamed for ‘Elevation’ as the encore which left me disappointed because – don’t get me wrong, ‘Elevation’ is a great song – it just doesn’t feel like Alcest – it doesn’t have the heart that Souvenirs does. Nonetheless, the inclusion of ‘Solar Song’ makes up for the absence of ‘Ciel Errant’ and I think of it as a little treat just for the gazers in the crowd.

This phase of the show smelled of David Jones.

Who?

If you walk down Bourke Street in Melbourne, you’ll find a department store called David Jones between Swanston and Elizabeth Streets. The perfume department looks out onto the street. I walk past it en route to my tram and whenever I do I am hit by a blast of warmed up, muddled up, designer (?) fragrances.  I was taken aback when Alcest turned on and this lovely, if somewhat overpowering, scent wafted through the air. Where was it coming from, though I, turning my head left and right in desperate search of the source.

Turns out these metal kids take serious care of their hair. It was a headbanger getting his whiplash on just a row ahead of me. That’s got to be some mean conditioner.

Image Source: Robotichead (all rights reserved )

Gig Guide 2011 #3: Mono

Posted in Live, Rediscover, Review by R on November 15, 2011

Part of the Melbourne Festival. Mono played with a 23-piece orchestra (the Holy Ground orchestra, to be precise) putting on an unsurprisingly spectacular performance. The sound was, not just enormous, but majestic. It was royalty. It was ruined by the jerks at a table over from us who mistook the gig for a social occasion, and Mono for the “live band” that plays languidly in the background while you and your friends toss your head back and laugh over a tinkling glasses of booze. The blame for the misfortune of having such individuals in the audience is twofold (not counting the people themselves). 1. The choice of venue: there are booths, the booths have tables, the tables hold drinks and the seats that wrap around the table hold people. This is v. likely to result in the illusion that the show is, in fact, a an excuse for a social outing and it is thus acceptable to yap away cheerily as the band plays on. The likely culprit for this aggravating situation is 2. the price of tickets – a mere 35 quid. How it hurts us to admit this but perhaps a higher price would have meant only those who really loved the music turned up.

But, let’s not forget, this is Mono, and they don’t need us to shoot glares at noisy fellow patrons. Mono can look after themselves. Mono know how to fill a hall, even one as expansive as the Forum, with weighty vibrations so all waggling tongues are crushed under their weight if they so much as quiver when they ought not to.

Shockingly, my own favourite aspect of the show was the between-acts music. Mono must have done the choosing because I wouldn’t expect Gorecki to be an Australian decision. Less so would I imagine anyone but the band giving Symphony No. 3 the respect due to it by playing it – all three parts of it – in its entirety, fade in to fade out. Sure, people tried to talk over this too, but Symphony #3 is sorcery which is why by the time it hit the coda, the room was stunned, struck dumb.

Thus Mono come in at #3 foiled by their own, perfect, choice of filler music.

Image Source: The AU Review

Incoming: Gig Guide 2011

Posted in Live, Rediscover by R on November 14, 2011

I saw my last gig of the year a couple of weeks ago. 2011 has been good for gigs. It put up an admirable fight with APTBS- and SSPU-infused 2010. I thought I’d take the time out and document my most memorable. The ones that only a few years ago, I had accepted I would never see in my life. Wa-hey, dreams come true, who knew?

Up next, a bit about my top 3 shows of 2011.

Pic of Mono’s setup from Mess & Noise

%d bloggers like this: