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Rock and Roll Queen: top gigs of 2017

December 18, 2017

When compiling this list of gigs attended during 2017  that was 2017 there was a great deal of feelings that emerged. One of these feeling was gratitude, gratitude for camera phones that helped you remember dates and venues. Happiness that I have the pleasure to get consumed by the beauty of the collective conscious that is available at a concert either big or small. It does help to have a sweet hearted person who can take non blurry photos of the gigs that are attended together.

Writing down by hand using a fav black pen and visual diary I made a list of the gigs that formed my year in music.   It is not too shabby. There is some variety and  I feel very fortunate to be someone lucky enough to be in a situation that allows me to go see live music both completely unknown, independent, as well as a few bigger names. On average i have managed to see at least one band a month. These are just the ones that have photographic evidence.

There will be no video recordings of any of the gigs I attended I am morally opposed to doing this. It cheapens the experience that is meant to be all consuming. Plus phones held up throughout entire shows have a habit of getting in the way of your fellow punters. Nobody wants to see your blurry and unfocused 50 second film in thier facebook feed, reminding them they are too broke to see gigs as cool or as big as the ones you do. Note: I know I am doing that by writing my gig high lights. But, this is classier than a shitty short film you blindly filmed by holding your phone up. That takes seconds, this is taking days.

You can take a few quick snaps, with your phone, and still spend the rest of the time experiencing the wonder that is people playing music in front of you, below you, to the side of you, what ever way you are situated in regards to the band.

It has been such a terrible year for so many people so I hope that this at least introduces you to some new fav bands or at least reminds you of a long lost or forgotten previously adored band.

 

12 FEB  LADY LESHURR AT HOWLER

The gig was amazing but it was a school night and my gig buddy had to get up before 7am. Stayed to the back and avoided the crush of very enthusiastic fans practically bouncing out of their skin. A young woman got pulled up stage and sang all the words to Queen Speech.  Lady Leshurr is a pint sized dynamo as she manages to fill the whole stage with her energy and passion. People actually came with tooth brushes as homage to her lyric BRUSH YO TEETH! From ”Queens Speech Ep 4”.

Photo credit Leong Chan16601613_10154855282535149_760518493937530040_o

12 APRIL THE MOUNTAIN GOATS AT THE CORNER

This was a great gig with great friends and there is even a little video of me dancing my ass off that my friend secretly took and showed me later. There was much dissing of exes who claimed this band as their ”all time fav.” suggesting yet again that it is because of men that we cannot keep all the things we enjoy untainted by their association.

https://gremlinface82.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/hail-satan-and-celebrate-the-wolves-i-saw-the-mountain-goats-live/

 

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17 APRIL PATTI SMITH AT HAMMER HALL

This was my xmas gift and this time the gift giver got themselves a ticket so we could go together. This the same person who got me a special VIP  ticket to The Descendents, instead of two tickets, I would have preferred  their company. Not that I am one of those people that hates doing stuff alone. I love it. The fact that I would rather this particular person’s company than solo gig going is a testament to my affection for them.

This particular Patti Smith show was the album Horses performed with a full band from start to finish.  The album was released over 40 years ago. It was so lovely to have a comfortable seat and good vantage point.

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25 APRIL SIGOURNEY BEAVER AT THE BRUNSWICK HOTEL

This band are fast and furious and full of fun. A band two friends started that are not getting nearly the exposure they deserve. Oh, do I sound less than objective? Thats because I am. I met these two at a street party that took place in the car park behind Moreland Centrelink. We have been firm friends ever since. They wrote a  very short and loud song about my new kidney. Thats the level of friendship we are talking about.  This particular gig took place over a two day free live music festival. Sigourney Beaver were performing after Mannequin Death Squad and they were kind enough to lend their drum kit.

Ness and her vocals guitar playing is the love child of Dillinger Escape plan and The Distillers. Tim drums like a demon even though he has a splendid beard do not for one second think he is anything other than kind and funny. Demon musician angel friend. and to see how much tighter they have become as a two piece, both in stage banter and sonically, has been a freaking honour to witness.

 

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22 JUNE XIU XIU PERFORM THE TWIN PEAKS SOUND TRACK AT THE SUBSTATION

It is so fitting that this band perform the spooky and other worldly soundscape that is the musical back drop to the Twin Peaks universe. Experiencing the music performed by a band that has existed and produced experimental music over 15 years. Jamie Stewart accompanied by Angela Seo and Shayna Dunkleman did not simply recreat the music of the television series. They reimagined it and incorporated the inner chaos simmering below the musics surface. It was eerie, unsettling. It reached and receded from emotional peaks and surrounding fears. The music had an undercurrent of differing levels of sensuality. When the diary of Laura Palmer was performed it was almost too much to bear. So raw and with the juxtaposition of sound and girlish voice work that rose in hysteria, spite and rage.

 

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26 JULY LCD SOUNDSYSTEM AT M.C ( SHE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED)  ARENA INTERNATIONAL TENNIS COURT ARENA

Releasing their American Dream album this year. Its been seven years since This Is Happening.  LCD Soundsystem fans have grown up and grown hungry for this much anticipated live in concert happening.

what? I mean that. Sorry if it sounded sarcastic. I love this band. It was a much anticipated gig.  It never occurred to me to even hope that this band would ever tour again. They went on hiatus/broke up.   James Murphy announce they are touring again a few months after this tour.

https://gremlinface82.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/all-my-friends-and-i-alone-but-together-at-lcd-soundsystem-2672017/

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8 SEPTEMBER PLACEBO AT M ( SHE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED) COURT ARENA

Ten years after the first disappointing attempt to see this band live with a former boyfriend: read about it here https://gremlinface82.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/pretty-little-him/ I was triumphant and got to see Placebo live with someone who loved them as much me. Someone who had a better understanding of their own sexuality thanks to Brian Molko. Just like me. The night was not even dampened by the fact we were pushed into a front yard fence by a drug addled random who was convinced his photo was being taken. The gig was

The fact that Placebo a band that has never wanted to slip easily into the heteronormative or conventionally masculine music categories ( and thank goodness). A band with a lead singer who spurns gender binaries and has done for a long time. It did not escape them that they were performing in a venue that is named after a vocal homophobe in a year that the human rights of Australia’s LGBTIQ were being put up for national debate.

They did have a small act of defiance and you can experience it here. It was quite something  beautiful to witness it in the flesh. http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/watch-placebo-lead-melbourne-fans-fork-margaret-court-chant/

They played Nancy Boy and avoided Every You And Every Me: which pleased me a great deal. They were phenomenal and even though Brian warmed he had a sore throat he still managed to soldier on like the androgynous elf king he is.

photo credit leong chan25498404_10154895835291750_1478012864336842395_n

 

 

13 SEPTEMBER DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL AT THE FORUM

This was one of the best gigs of the year and this was due mostly to the venue and my vantage point ( front and right of centre stage). The crowd was considerate and kind. Yes this band could be written off as whiny white boy music. It is so much more than that. It is quite obvious that this has been a big year for me and nostalgia bands. Dashbourd are no exception. You could find it odd that a band that has such ties to a past relationship would ruin it for me. It does not and did not. Now it is just funny and seet that the boy i lost my V to put Hands Down by Dashboard on a mix cd for me. The song is about not having sex with someone special and ignoring all the nasty high school rumour mill. It was the encore song and everyone one sang along with gusto, all these fans who were no longer young and idealistic, happy to pretend and remember for a little while.

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2 OCTOBER SHONEN KNIFE AT TRIPLE R PERFORMANCE SPACE

To experience such greatness in such an intimate setting was exciting. I was so close. I could see! the sound was excellent. The gig was free. You had to be a Triple R subscriber and quick to call in. I was not that person. The person who was likes me enough to share the experience. I really am saving the best till the near end of this list.

Shonen Knife have been around for 36 years and have released eighteen albums. They sing bubble gum super fun pop about chocolate bars and ramen. They are a joy and I danced so hard. This line up included Naoko with original member Atsuko back on bass with new drummer Riza ( who stole my heart).   Fav songs would have to include  ”I wanna Eat Chocolate Bars” from 1996 album Pretty Little Baka Guy  and ‘Wasabi’ from their  recent studio album release Adventure: a super fun song about one of my fav condiments.  Perks of such a small afternoon gig is that I had my photo taken with them and they signed my poster. They were so nice. They are up there in my list of possible tattoo inspirations: like cute representations of all the snacks they sing about.

photo credit leong chan 25445990_10154895835066750_4476739132240084433_n

5 NOVEMBER GO GO SAPIEN AT THE TOTE

Showed up not knowing what to expect and honestly it made me realize how important it is to do this. Excellent live show with much theatricality and costume changes.

https://gremlinface82.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/not-your-imaginary-friend-go-go-sapien-at-the-tote-5112017/

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3 DECEMBER MACH PELICAN AT THE BENDIGO HOTEL

The Ramones inspired pop punk wonderment Australian adopted from Japan, has not graced a live music stage for ages. The band did their last Australian shows in August 2007 and  in Japan a month later.  They were one of my fav bands back in the day ten years ago and so it was a must see. The show did not fail to deliver. Atsu who plays bass and sings is now a father of three and works at one of the two major Australian guitar building establishments. An apt profession.

They supported their best friends and band brothers Guitar Wolf. A band who is less pop punk and more heavy heavy cacophony of sound. A bit much for my pop punk heart.

Situated up the front for the whole show allowed me to see the moment where Atsu removed his black biker leather jacket ( the exact kind of jacket I always wanted ) as it ‘basically weighs 30 kilos and its too hot.’

They played the classic cover of the song Ursula finally has tits originally by The Queers. It was while my gig buddy was in the loo that a person came up to me and placed thier face inches from mine. They referred to me by a name I have not heard since uni and after I leaned away and looked confused they looked hurt. ”I thought you would jump into my arms” the puppy dog looked person said. Then I remembered and hugged them. It had been ten years and they were now with wife and sprog. I was shown baby pictures. I am not married. I am not a home owner and I have not moved to the suburbs.   I tell them. It was so strange seeing them. ”You still look so punk” they tell me. I say its because the clothes still fit and I am too broke and happy wearing them to change. They demand my number and i give it to them, knowing already they are drunk and wont remember or care so much in the morning.  It was nice to see them and chat for a bit though.

 

photo credit leong chan25439026_10155795504165149_996364407908939679_o

 

Some bands that I saw and loved that have no photographic evidence

FACE FACE

https://faceface.bandcamp.com/releases

RVG

https://rvgband.bandcamp.com/

SHRIMPWITCH

https://shrimpwitch.bandcamp.com/

MAUREEN

https://maureen.bandcamp.com/music

CAMP COPE

https://campcope.bandcamp.com/

TWO STEPS ON THE WATER

https://twostepsonthewater.bandcamp.com/

HEAT WAVE

https://heatwaveau.bandcamp.com/

THE DESCENDENTS

http://descendents.tumblr.com/

 

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