We headed down around 6 to the venue. Looking rather more opulent than we are accustomed to, the upstairs corner bar, part of the spring hill hotel complex, in central Brisbane, so much so it has a view of Suncorp Stadium from the staircase (‘next time’, I chide the lads as they look longingly at the grandstand through the grisled rain-sodden windows of storm-blown grisled rain).
A most peculiar sensation sweeps through me as we set up. We are in the former dominion of Joh Bjelke Petersen here, in a former (and not so much renovated, judging by the 50 odd disco balls above the bar, intimate loungerooms and ambiguous restroom signs ) tranny bar across the ditch and 1000 km away from our landing point where we were willingly driven by our most gracious hosts, napping like sweet babes in the woods while our saviours/captors take us where they will.
Negative Guest List is a legendary Brisbane institution, publishing magazines and music from the fringes of the music scene here and this gig is a celebration of the labels body of work, including our new ‘Nutsacker Suite’ single.
Gir!s Gir!s Gir!s headed up the lineup with a set so ambient the management asked them to tone down the Brian Eno interstitial sounds between sets. Hauntingly beautiful even with volume set on level 1 GGG reflected the moment with the subtlety of an exquisite Monet depicting a fragment of daily life. C’est magnifique, as quietly charming yet nigglingly grating as a young marble giants cd set on infinite loop in the vacant house next door, playing too quietly to call the noise control but loudly enough to irritate if one were to focus on it.
Next up were Meat Thump, project of Brendon Annesley, originator and proprietor of Negative Guest List magazine and releaser of 4 singles this note alone, all at the tender age of 22 and living in Brisbane. Another short but provocative set, not raucous but disturbing enough within its own context, a subtlety which seems to be reflected in the ‘Brisbane sound’, perhaps a product of the quasi-Muldoon anti-subversion suppression of Joh Bjelke-Petersen in his reign in this massive and somewhat isolated state with a huge hard-to control coast and vocal dissidents flowing in from all quarters, or perhaps they have felt the quiet voice is the best path for forwarding their message.
In any case, Meat Thump rocked to a rockin beat in a more rock-audience friendly way than GGG, vibe la difference, setting the scene for a certain nite of variety and challenging modernist music sans frontiers, without barriers.
Anti-traditionalism seems to be the overriding theme this night, it seems the rebels are stripping down to the bare bone rather than donning the heavy armour on this night of nights, they are certainly exposing themselves to the elements, their nutsacks are raw and pink to coin an analogy.
Blank Realm, next up, performed a punchy rock number first up replete with keyboards, girl-boy harmonies, synths and a hot beat with good stage presence.
Slipping into psychedelic trance type mid set sojourn, Realm held the audience with quite a presence.
In a similar vein the next number channeled ? & the mysterious as much as ray manzeric with its spooky organ riffology. Riveting riffology!
Good intertwining and nice textures….
Mad nanna a more traditional rock offering with a hard edge. I was down working the door when they played mostly but seemed to be crowd pleasers without being sycophantic and a solid rockin outfit and pretty populaover here, as were the next Negative Guest List artists 3 Toed Sloth, who weren’t in the least lethargic and slow-moving, but once again I was working the desk for most of their set so only caught their audio rays.
We played a nice tight set through great amps to a mostly appreciative audience, though one digger made the effort to come up afterwards to make the legendary statement “Don’t mean to sound rude, but that was dickead music for dickhead people”