Feb 28, 2020

The New Pornographers @ Metro Theatre

The New Pornographers are fun with a capital F. But that could possibly undersell them as they are so much more than that. Their songs brim with pathos and humanity. They are exquisitely constructed with undeniable melodies. Wednesday night at the Metro was a great pleasure to see them once again. It had been a while. But they have lost none of their touch, that's for sure. Sadly the venue was not full. But I guess they aren't really a 'hip' band anymore. Which is a shame because they are stamped with greatness and seeing them live proved it once again.

Last year saw the band released their eighth album in the shape of 'In The Morse Code of Brake Lights' and I believed it was their best in a while. Happily they played quite a few off that album and the new songs sounded great live. Especially 'The Surprise Knock' and the plaintive 'Higher Beams'. Also happily we heard a great selection from their astounding catalogue with many classics being played. 'Use It' was the first of many to get an enthusiastic crowd going. But I also loved 'The Laws Have Changed'. 'Testament to Youth in Verse' and 'The Bleeding Heart Show'. Finishing the set with 'Mass Romantic' was just the cherry on top. The band still numbers seven but this was the first time I had seen Simi Stone play with them. Of course Neko Case is a stellar singer who sets every song alight. Then there is the main man Carl Newman holding everything togther. What a band.

Set List
Falling Down the Stairs of Your Smile
Use It
You'll Need a Backseat Driver
Dancehall Domine
Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk
The Surprise Knock
The Bones of an Idol
Whiteout Conditions
Colossus of Rhodes
The Laws Have Changed
Higher Beams
Testament to Youth in Verse
Dreamlike and on the Rush
Crash Years
All The Old Showstoppers
Adventures in Solitude
Champions of Red Wine
Play Money
The Bleeding Heart Show
Mass Romantic

Brill Bruisers
The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism

Feb 23, 2020

Jay Som @ Oxford Art Factory

Friday night was the first ever Jay Som show in Sydney, or Australia for that matter. The band had just flown in from New Zealand and Friday night at the Oxford Art Factory was the first of a small run of dates in this country. Sadly the show was not sold out but for those who were there it was a special night of beautiful music. Jay Som is primarily Melina Mae Duterte, born in California with Filipino heritage. She now plays within a band of four, and this show was off the back of last year's excellent album 'Anak Ko'.

Jay Som's music is dreamy pop but with a solid base. And last year's album I think was her most substantial yet and happily she played quite a bit off that excellent record. Highlights included the title track as well the super popluar 'Superbike'. The band was really solid and some beautiful guitar jams emanted from the stage. It was great to hear the delightful 'The Bus Song' too as well as the just released new single in 'A Thousand Words'. It was a short set, about an hour, with no encore. But it was a great pleasure to see Jay Som for the very first time. 

Set List
If You Want It
Turn Into
Nighttime Drive
Anak Ko
Peace Out
Get Well
The Bus Song
A Thousand Words
Lipstick Stains

Feb 22, 2020

Allah-Las @ Paddington RSL

Los Angeles based band Allah-Las have been around for 12 years now, releasing four albums in that time. But it wasn't until 2017 that the band first made it to Australia, playing a splendid Sydney show at the Oxford Art Factory. Thursday night they were back, playing a sold out show at the Paddington RSL. I'm never quite sure where this band fits in the music world. They're certainly not a 'hip' band. Their music is evocative of classic 60s bands, but they seem to attract a young and devoted crowd.

They were truly splendid on Thursday night. Their golden guitar tones washed over an enthusiastic crowd. They are a very talented band with multiple vocalists, although Miles Michaud handles the majority of singing duties. The other standout of the band is lead guitarist Pedrum Siadatian. His guitar technique, aided by effects, really ads the layer that make the band a cut above the rest. Just beautiful warm tones, exemplified by the classic track 'Sacred Sands'. This song is from their wonderful self titled debut album, an album they still lean heavily on and rightly so. They also gave us plenty from their 2019 album in 'LAHS', with 'Polar Onion a definite highlight. But it was definitely a night of many highlights.

Set List
Sacred Sands
Busman's Holiday
Prazer Em Te Conhecer
No Werewolf (The Frantics cover)
In The Air
Tell Me (What's On Your Mind)
Had It All
On Our Way
Light Yearly
Brittany Glasz
Polar Onion
No Voodoo
Could Be You

Calm Me Down