There was some pretty bloody tight music to be enjoyed at the B.C at the No Age gig, even if hordes of fans wouldn’t risk tempting themselves with rock ‘n’ roll music and eight dollar tall-tinnies on a weeknight.
Gonzo kicked off the show, always a Geelong favourite among lovers of garage music. They smashed out their heavy surfer punk as tight as ever, big noises divided by wiry little riffs behind super catchy and strange hooks, they’re super cool. Jack also brought his Macca’s dinner up on stage with him and sipped on his thick shake here and there throughout the set. If that’s a new corporate sponsor for the band that’s not very punk of him, if it was because he’s just a busy man trying to fit in a feed on the go, I can respect that. Plus, being generally kind of greasy is pretty punk… so, yeah, I guess that’s cool. Put The Money was a head-shakin’ highlight, and it just came out as a single this week which means they’ll probably be beefing up there gig schedule which is cool, too.
Shepparton Airplane were up next, it was the first time I’d seen those guys and I was keen as. First thing I noticed as that they are loud. Huge noise that just rips right through ya. No Prize has a super intense desperation in the vocals that I was really into, and Not So Sweet was a dark, fried ride that showcased super interesting ways the band uses all members singing abilities.
A couple of mates I was with claimed it was dad rock within a couple of minutes and went out the back for ciggies. That was poor form. Even if band wasn’t made up of absolute pro’s of the Melbourne rock-dog scene (I mean, calling guys from Peep Tempel and Graveyard train dad-rockers, are ya silly?), calling a band dad-rock just because the people playing aren’t all twenty-two is a total goose-move. Ah well, their loss I guess because the set ripped.
The headliner for the night was No Age, hailing from L.A. I didn’t realise they were a two-piece, so when I saw them setting up I was a little sceptical of the line-up choice, Shepparton Airplane use two guitars and a base and make enough noise to rip ya eardrums off… why would a two piece want to follow that?
My worries were put to bed pretty quickly though, No Age definitely make their fair share of noise. I don’t know shit about guitars, but the guitarist (Randy Randall) was playing something loud as fuck, and his arsenal of pedals gave the group a full and fuzzed-out sound. Dean Sprunt was on drums and vocals, a feat that always spins my head, providing the beat and the melody for a band just doesn’t compute in my brain.
The vocals were fairly far back in the mix, and the drum beats were constant and quick, which I reckon makes the band sound like a late 90’s skate punk band, only with better and cooler guitar playing. I was into it.
A highlight was when they got a punter from the crowd, an eighteen-year-old who had been dancing his arse off all night, and let the dude wail as the new vocalist for twenty or thirty seconds before sending him on his way again to dance the rest of the set. The guy looked so stoked.
All-in-all the night had a pretty awesome line-up and each band delivered, it was just a little quiet in terms of audience numbers. The ol’ B.C bandroom probably would have been going off if it was those same acts on a Saturday. Maybe people need to realise they can go see music and not drink, or just toughen up and do the odd Friday shift with a hangover.
The Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong
Thursday February 21
Reviewed by Liam McNally