Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Boroughs

Sunday Nicole and I ventured out to be what was billed as a New York City inspired music celebration, with Aussie music talent, billed as The Boroughs. Following a map, and making my way into the wasteland that seems to be the Docklands area at the top of the city grid, finding deadend and unended streets, and other people wandering around lost, I finally made it to the waters edge...and heard music. If it wasn't for the first act breaking the tranquil silence of the dock, I may never have found Shed 4 along North Wharf Road (which doesn't exist in reality!).

Being a surprise hot day amidst a fairly mild week, as we walked into the massise shed we were met with the stifling heat of the enclosed space. The fumes of graffiti art in progress, we walked into the small area utilised for the event, decked out in shipping countainers. Wilfred Jackal were playing to a small gathering, in the small space in front of the stage. Setting the flavour of indie bands, and lads in skinny jeans, the male dominated bill carried on to The Hello Morning, who were probably my pick of the bands I hadn't heard before for the day.

Nicole and I walked around the little event, grabbing some tokens for drinks, and walking through the handful of stalls of records and art. We ventured past the skater ramp down the back, and then returned to the stage area for the Frowning Clouds. Haning seen them last weekend, I was looking forward to hearing them again. The Beatles inspired sounds and looks got the crowd up and dancing in no time, as this little Geelong talent engaged the crowd and harmonised our ears.

We popped outside for an air break between sets (to the smokers haven in the sun), and had the wood fire pizza on offer as the fare of the day, before listening to Bachelor of Arts and then the Hot Little Hands. One miss, one hit....

Miami Horror, which packed out the crowd, and really had full participation. This is one of the times I realise that I just don't listen to the radio, and thus, don't always know what the kids today are listening to! Ha!

But the next demonstration of that was the arrival of Yves Klein Blue on stage - my, haven't these lads become insanely popular since their album launch! The crowd went crazy, and knew all their big tracks.

Released tracks like Make Up Your Mind, were backed up by album and EP gems like Summer Sheets, and Silence Is Distance. The restless and obnoixous and drunk crowd soon demanded (actually shouted out) that they play something they knew! The boys responded with Getting Wise, dedicated Soilder to all the young men in the crowd, before their signature Polka rounded out the awesome set, to full crowd voice participation.

Newly crowned ARIA winner, and only female artist on the bill, Bertie Blackman headlined to the packed little space, adorned with full monk cape for her set. Opening with Sky Is Falling, here it was more evident to me that the sound in this cavernous venue was echoy, and Bertie trying to counteract the space, which sadly led to her rasping her voice through the beautiful White Owl.

Bringing sexy back, Bertie played Come To Bed and Lust And Found, chatting to the audience between tracks. She talked about the cape as her prop for Byrds Of Prey, and pulled out her cover of Phil Collins' Something In The Air. Amazing. Thump was a sensation, and why she has that pointly little award in her possession this year, before she rounded out with a dedication to seeing Fleetwood Mac this week, with a cover of Thunder Only Happens When Its Raining.

The event in theory is a good one, but the location and venue itself, with the sound and heat and underutilised space was disappointing. Being on a Sunday was also a weird choice. But admitttedly, during the day we were unsure of The Boroughs, the last two acts made the day for us, and thus this little indie gig concept will surely grow from this beginning.

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