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Little Red w/ The Holidays & Andy Bull, Annandale Hotel (Sydney), 22-8-08

August 23, 2008

I’ve first saw Little Red when they supported Vampire Weekend earlier this month, and they came close to upping the headline act, they were so brilliant. Needless to say, I didn’t need much incentive to see them, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to miss them at $15 with supporting acts The Holidays and Andy Bull, both of whom I’ve heard very good things about.

Due to going out for dinner beforehand, we were running a bit late and missed out of most of Andy Bull’s set, but even so he impressed me enough to buy his EP after the show. He’s an interesting one, for sure – one of the main questions raised when you first hear him is whether he’s male or female – seems harsh, I know, but it’s actually hard to tell. I’d already heard some of his stuff before, had an argument, and googled him to see which one he was (Andy could be a female, right?), so I was okay for the gig, but my friend still wasn’t sure by the end of the set, and I could only sympathise.

He’s got a pretty amazing voice and plays the piano, backed by a supporting band (with plenty of brass!), putting out some great tunes, ranging from soul-rock, to… Other related genres. It’s so hard to define bands these days, no? (I stole ‘soul-rock’ from his record sleeve).

Pretty much the first thing I really heard about The Holidays was that they have really good-looking girlfriends, who stand up the front and dance. I was a fair way back (well, by Annandale standards), so I missed out on seeing them, but if said girlfriends are music-lovers, I can sure understand their attraction to these guys. Their songs sound familiar in lots of ways, but in ways I can’t really place. Semi-self-titled (?) track Holiday, which I have faint memories of them playing live, but really know best from their actually-self-titled EP (which I bought after the show), is especially catchy, and the rest of their songs are far from bad too!

I was surprised, though, by the crowd’s reaction to these guys; they were doing really well, and putting out some great tunes, but nobody seemed particularly interested besides us and the group of people up the front (girlfriends et al.?). Still, they seemed to have fun, despite the cold, and certainly sold at least three records (we bought one each!).

Um, Little Red. What can I say? Fucking Brilliant. Yes, that’s Brilliant with a capital ‘B’, even when following the ‘fucking’. Double positive; must be good! Yes, they were indeed. Much more awesome even as they were supporting Vampire Weekend, which puts them above, well, most things this year.

Somewhat surprisingly they didn’t open with Witchdoctor (I almost placed bets on the fact that they would), but that’s not a bad thing or anything; just a minor surprise. They played a fair bit of new stuff, which was pretty great, despite not seeming up the the all-out brilliance of Listen to Little Red. Tracks like Little Annie, Jackie Cooper, and Coca Cola are hard to beat live in any circumstance; they’re just so easy and fun to dance to, it’s impossible not to get up and move around. They certainly picked up my mood over the course of the night, which admittedly was pretty rubbish beforehand.

Oh, and tamborine guy actually played more instuments this time! Okay, so not properly, but still. He spread his wings and gave the keyboard and spoons a go (one song each). And although this almost deems him a scammer, he is so brilliant when he sings, and adds so much character to the band that his membership is more than justified. And Taka (drums) was as brilliant and happy as ever, and even got up to dance on his drums at one point.

Oh my gosh, I’m in love! Meredith will be awesome.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Alexandra permalink
    August 23, 2008 1:14 pm

    You have no idea how much i freaking LOOOOOOOOOVE this band!
    Love love love!!!

  2. Steve permalink
    August 23, 2008 3:12 pm

    This was a really really really good gig, from the moment we turned up. I saw Andy Bull and Little Red at the Glasshouse Bar on Wednesday, and they were definitely a lot more into it at the Annandale. It probably helps that people actually turned up, where at UTS it was more of a cafeteria atmosphere – people come and go, and tend not to care about much more than their pie.

    Did I mention that the sound was fantastic at the Annandale? The mix was very, very good. Somebody should have grabbed the guy on the desk and made him do Death Cab. Seriously.

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