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The Drones @ Corner Hotel (Melbourne) with Kev Carmody and Witch Hats 24/04/09

April 28, 2009


(I realise Phil has already posted his account of their Sydney show, but I though I would do one anyway!)

Opening the night was Melbourne’s Witch Hats, a favourite local act of mine that I have seen many times before. Tonight’s performance wow’ed me no less than any other time I had seen them. The band idle around the stage with a lazy nonchalance, while belting out jagged guitar riff matched with the snarly screams and squawks of a front man telling disjointed stories about nothing at all. They began to a peppering of 20 or so people throughout the room, and ended to a room full of people, mixed with disgust and intrigue at this bizarre brand of punk rock. They played several songs I didn’t recognise, so here’s to hoping for a new album this year.

Then was Kev Carmody, someone I admit to knowing nothing about, and struggle to explain. The older gentleman played tales about his life and experiences through his acoustic guitar and poignant lyrics, joined by casual banter warming up the crowd and making everyone laugh, he was a true personality and bought back the intimacy to the crowd. He had an anecdote for every one of his songs, explaining where he was and how it was the songs came about. He finished his set with the song Paul Kelly made famous, ‘From Little Thing, Big Things Grow’, adamant that the crowd sing along.

I’ve never seen the Drones in a venue like this. My first encounter with any sort of Drones music was last year, when I caught Gareth Liddiard solo several time, and have only seen the Drones in full swing at the Big Day Out, so I was excited to finally see such a band in their element, together on stage. They opened with Nail It Down, track number one of their most recent effort ‘Havilah’, followed by personal favourite Oh My, and The Minotaur, the chant of ‘Fucking Halo II’ heard radiating throughout the crowd, followed by a string of older songs, such as I Don’t Ever Want To Change and Shark Fin Blues. Their performance was loud and passionate, Gareth’s hectic words spat out into the microphone, joined by agitated, deafening guitar. Closing the night was a Kev Carmody cover, River if Tears, an ethereal experience bound to last with me for life. There are not many words that can explain just how breathtaking it was, as lame as that sounds. It was bitter and spiteful and angry, but moving and fervent like some religious experience that will take a very, very long time to be matched, if it ever could be!

This band is a stand out, in a league with no one but themselves.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Miles permalink
    April 29, 2009 1:00 am

    psst, look for more solo Gareth action soon, he’s playing in Syd on the 10th of may but i can’t find any details of a tour or anything.

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