I’ll be rocking my Babylon Springs tour shirt from 2006 in all my Mountain Goats fangirl glory.
My two wishes for tomorrow night are that they play Brisbane Hotel Sutra and that they have great tour shirts this time (bonus we are the second show of the tour so there should be plenty of sizes to pick from :))
Last night I went to see/feel/experience The Cat Empire at the Zoo for one of the gigs they are playing as part of their tenth anniversary tour.
It was magical, beyond most words usually used to describe a gig. There was just this energie in the room that you could feel the entire night.
The above photos is not from last night but from those years I spent as rock photographer. On that topic, last night was the first gig in some time that I have had no desire to take a photo and didn’t spend half the gig picking out the best shots and the like. Last night, my mind and body was totally there, a couple of rows from the front just to the right of the centre (the best position at the Zoo, as you get the breeze from the open windows but are still in the middle of everything), very kindly standing in front of a guy who made me stand in front of him as he was a few inches taller than me.
I didn’t think much of the support act, they sounded very different to their recordings/videos, a whole lot less polished. The total reverse to The Cat Empire who sound good on their albums but live the songs become longer with more music, more jams, more dancing and better.
The Cat Empire are playing four shows in Brisbane, two at the Zoo and two at the Tivoli, presented those options and the fact that this is their tenth anniversary tour how do you not pick the sweaty, confined spaces of the Zoo over the more majestic open space of the Tivoli? When you know it’s going to be a night of pure energie and of music that is going to flow amongst the crowd? I guess that is why the shows at the Zoo sold out first…
If the anniversery tour hasn’t rolled into your town yet, get your self some tickets and go have fun!
How is that for a title?
Last Sunday night, I went to something incredible. The Mountain Goats were back in town to deliver a concert that was promised at the last show in 2008. This was to be an epic show delivered to those of us who endured but loved the December 2008 show which saw the crowd and Peter Peter Hughes singing most of the songs because John Darnielle was too ill to sing.
I was quite a fan girl and wore my Babylon Springs tour t-shirt which I re-fashioned a few hours earlier so it now had more of a boat neck and shorter sleeves – way more comfy then it was originally and a lot less neck strangling now by said shirt. The old tour shirt coupled with my front row spot in front and just a bit to the left of PPH would yet again cement me as the fan girl that I am. It was my fifth show. I thought it was my only fourth but then I went through tour date archives and yep last Sunday was show #5 for me. By far, the most times I have seen an international act.
The support act was Crayon Fields. I don’t know what really to say about them but I am sure there could have been a better support act picked. I didn’t mind a few of the songs but I don’t think I would be rushing out to see them again.
And really the crowd was here to hear and see the promised Holy Grail. To which after playing the first song, we get the obligatory, “Hi, we’re the Mountain Goats” and then this, “Ladies and gentlemen of Brisbane, I owe you one and youâ€™re about to get it”. Big exceptions were held by a few people I spoke to in the crowd. I however, learnt some time ago even if something big is promised to you, not to expect 200% as your hopes will be dashed if you only get 150%. I was expecting a long show with lots of old favourites, some obscure ones, some new things and talking and story telling. I had a list of some songs I expected to be on the set list on my head and I got the majority of those songs on my wishful set list. I got my 199%. I was quite happy.
I had a few observations on the crowd though. The crowd seemed to be a lot younger this time than last. I remember the last few shows I would say I felt like I was one of the younger people there, this time though I would say half the crowd looked like they were between 18-21 and not the 25-35 I remember last time. There didn’t seem to be quite the same buzz in the crowd, the sing-a-longs were a lot quieter than I recall. Maybe I’m just recalling my younger days too fondly.
I did have a gripe with a fellow crowd member and I was “oh, this close” to turning to her and telling her to close her mouth. Now I have no problem whatsoever with people singing along when it is a sing-a-long song like say This Year or Going to Georgia but singing along to songs when no one else in the crowd is and for those round you, your singing is louder than JD’s, yeah I have a problem with that.
Back to the topic at hand and that is music, Mountain Goats music, those magic words with that magic music that makes all those other things fall away into the beer stained floor boards.
What wondrous words were spoken/sung/shouted you ask? Well following is the titles of those songs.
1 Samuel 15:23
Old College Try
Your Belgian Things
Letter From Belgium
The Day the Aliens Came
Color In Your Cheeks
The Monkey Song
Going to Georgia
Ezekiel 7 And The Permanent Efficacy Of Grace
Houseguest (Nothing Painted Blue cover)
If you know me extremely well or have listened and actually really listened to me babble on about the Mountain Goats at one point or another which in my mental tally probably equates to probably zero people. You will see one song in that set which might make you smile at the thought that Helen would have really loved finally seeing that song live.
That song would be The Monkey Song and the most remarkable thing about seeing that song live, is that I requested it and JD picked my request….. Oh yeah my request, I say. I must actually confess that it was my second request as JD vetoed my first request of The Sign. He was telling us a tale of a concert he had gone to when he was 7 or thereabouts and the singer had asked everyone to yell out requests and he would pick one. JD to this day wants to know if he actually heard a song and picked one or just picked one himself. During this the entire crowd were yelling songs. Then there was a moment of silence and JD leaned over to where I was standing and asked what song I wanted. I bashfully asked for The Sign and he said something along the lines of “no, something else?” Then I said “The Monkey Song”, he said “what?” then I said “Monkey in the Basement”. He stood up and presented us with the below little piece of magic which someone else every so kindly recorded and put on youtube.
I didn’t get a tour shirt as I had planned because it was black. I don’t like black t-shirts, I have one black t-shirt and that is my Breeders t-shirt because frankly it was the only thing on offer. The shirt was pretty cool and you can see a picture of it here if you care (I love the added post-it notes)
I did however get a poster. (268/365)
Do you know how many concerts I’ve been to at The Zoo and failed at getting a poster? Many, many times, this is the only poster I’ve managed to score and it currently is blu-tacked to the wall above my bed quite happily reminding me of all my past tMG memories.
Till next time, I enjoy the Mountain Goats on the stage at The Zoo (because frankly that is their Brisbane stomping ground though a Troubie show would be kinda cool). I leave you with this. If you were at the show, you will get a laugh and know what this means, if you weren’t well just enjoy it for what it is and enjoy it for what it isn’t
It is Thursday night, about 71 hours since The Breeders walked onto the stage at The Zoo. I am laying on the floor of my bedroom with my laptop (oh yes, I got a laptop a month or so ago, it is pink, I love it) in my Breeders shirt, listening to Mountain Battles and loving it more and more. In those 71 hours all I have listened to is Breeders, The Amps and an itsy witsby bit of Kelley Deal 6000 and I could not love the sisters Deal more.
Charlyn likes to remind me round the net that I was super excited and well I must admit she is telling the truth. Man the grin I had on my face was a grin that has never appeared on my face at a concert before and probably never will, well the only time I think it will reappear will be if I ever get to see The Breeders live again and let me be honest and truthful I am by no means counting my eggs for that on the flip-side, I had a thought at the gig on Monday night that I could so see those girls pushing 70 and still singing their songs on the stage. I will have to wait and see I guess but those few hours will be a night I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I still find it so hard to believe that man oh man I saw the Breeders. I will be sitting at my desk at work or walking to the train station and I find myself smiling at the thought of how magical Monday night was.
Gaslight Radio were the supports and to be honest I didn’t really think much of them. They had one or two alright songs in their set but that was about it. The lead singer had quite good stage presence but it was really let down by some of the other band members. One of the guys spent the entire set with his back to the audience playing his guitar??? what the?????
My favourite photo I took during their set was not of them but of a piece of A4 paper I saw on top of an amp.
mmmm yeah! The set list. I close to fainted when I saw that Safari was on there. Still that didn’t stop me from yelling out for them to play it during the set and then Kim said something back to me and they they played it and well Helen went into a state of euphoria. The deviated from the set list a bit I think with the addition of one or two impromptu songs that I can’t recall. Looking at the order of the songs in the photo above and the set list from the show in Boston it seems that the set list for the shows on this world tour are pretty much the same.
01. Tipp City
03. Bang On
04. Shocker In Gloomtown (GBV)
05. Divine Hammer
06. Night of Joy
07. No Aloha
09. We’re Gonna Rise
10. It’s The Love (Tasties)
12. New Year
14. I Just Wanna Get Along
15. Happiness Is A Warm Gun (Beatles)
19. German Studies
20. Empty Glasses
22. Fortunately Gone
23. Here No More
24. Drivin’ on 9
25. Full On Idle
I would have really really really liked to have heard and Flipside and Hag and When I Was a Painter and Son of Three and well the 100 other or so songs in their discography. Though I am really kicking myself for not yelling out for the Buffy theme as that would have been so fricking cool.
I don’t know where to start about the Breeders set. It was just magical. The sold out crowd was a real mix of ages; people my age, people a bit younger and plenty of people who are more Karl’s age. As there were so many people like me who had been waiting years and years to see them, the atmosphere in the crowd as they started to play the songs and banter was just incredible, Kim and Kelley interacted with the crowd a lot and seemed incredibly at ease on stage.
Saturday night, what a night it was at The Zoo, by far my favourite show of the year and I think the favourite show of the year for many of the other punters there. Why? Well Peter Combe was in town and playing at The Zoo :D. I was going to wear a newspaper hat but thought that was a bit too ordinary so I went with toothbrushes in my hair. As I walked past people, they would smile and make comments or start singing Mr Clicketty Cane. Later on as I moved through the crowd, people would exclaim “You’re the girl with the toothbrushes” to which I would smile and ponder the fact that people were actually talking about me. Let me tell you know that putting toothbrushes in your hair is no easy feat, it involved numerous hair ties and I would have to push them up every so often.
The Crowd, Yay Newspaper Hats 😀
First up was Deb Suckling and Craig Spann as Peachfish providing some of their fine folksy, alt-country romance.
Then there was a band, well they were a band and a half. They were The Danaj Show. The lead singer came on stage with a briefcase. With much lead up he opened that case to reveal a newspaper hat!! This was not just any newspaper had though this was a newspaper hat covered with stars (those stars that you used to be put on your forehead when you were good in class). The crowd went wild.
I had left my Spagetti Bolagnaise LP at home, as I had left I had thought of bringing it with me to wave at the right moment. I decided against it though. As the second band played I kept on thinking about the sign that said Peter would be doing a signing at the end of the night. I rang Matthew and paid him $20 to grab the LP and drive into The Valley to drop it off for me.
I got it signed 😀 and you can see the toothbrushes.
After long wait the Juicy Juicy Green Grass Band came out, led of course by the icon that is Phil. Phil, Phil, Phil is what was chanted as he took is rightful seat behind the keyboards. Then they played a crowd rousing tune as the chants for Peter, Peter, Peter got louder and louder. Then our child icon ran onto the stage, grabbed his mike and everything was ok. Peter Combe was on stage, we knew the words, he knew our faces and no one could be happier.
When he played Tadpole Blues, I smiled, for as much as Matthew denies it, that was his favourite song. Then there was Rain, Rain, Rain, my favourite song now. There was the blow fly song, Down in Bathroom, Nutrition Blues, Rock ‘N’ Roll Is All You Need, Chops & Sausages, Jack & The Beanstalk, Syntax Error, Newspaper Mama, Spaghetti Bolognaise, Toffee Apple, Phone Calls Daddy, Jellybean Road (well I think he played this). He has written a song for each of his children and since his son Tom is in The Juicy Juicy Green Grass Band, they played Lullaby (For Tom). The crowd let out a collective sigh during this. No Parcel in the Post though or 12345, that is life though.
Of course the last song they played was Juicy Juicy Green Grass and it was something special 😀
It was the happiest gig of the year, every where you turned people where smiling and singing/shouting/miming along with the words. As people poured out of The Zoo onto Ann St, the smiles were there, people were milling around humming tunes, clutching their new Peter Combe T-shirts and just going yeah 🙂 I went with Ms Clare and her friend Jackie/Jacquie who was smiling and singing along with me the entire time.
Yet another post condensing most of a weeks activity into one blog post. I am so behind. I have dreams of posting a blog sooner after an event but I just get sidetracked. I have a whole week where I actually did things to blog about/process photos. Sunday I was at two concerts, Tuesday I baked, Wednesday Andrea and I went to the movies, Thursday I went to photograph Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at the Zoo, Friday I went out to dinner with Andrea and some of her friends, this morning I went into the city to watch the spires lifted into place at St John’s Cathedral. This arvo I went to the movies. Quite a week and now I am busy catching up.
I probably should start off with Sunday.
I had one goal for the arvo and that was to see Yeo and The Fresh Goods at Rics and that I did. Right next door at Kaliber, Nightillion were doing there Sunday afternoon sessions/jam thing. Fusing all sorts of musical goodness together, it was nice. Meanwhile at Rics, Mr Laneous (pron. similar to miscellaneous) were taking care of getting the arvo started. A wander round The Valley and then it was time for Yeo and Co to fill the stage at Rics and play to a bar full of Shiny Happy People. I was fancy free and relatively footloose or really it was a Sunday where we weren’t’ going to The Farm as Mum had taken Grandad road tripping and left us all at home. It is a catch 22 of sorts. I would love to go more of the Sunday arvo session at Rics/Powerhouse/etc but Sunday arvos/night is the time we spend with Grandad and I am smart enough to know that those days are a whole lot more numbered than Sunday arvo sessions at Rics. It was so great to see Yeo play live. Tom and Tiana were outside and asked me what sort of music Yeo plays, I described as sort of electro reggae, I much prefer the three myspace genres; French pop / Punk / Reggae. Much better.
Yeo, (click image for the gig gallery).
Random Valley Shot. 56/366
Sunday evening it was the Creative Vibes shindig at The Troubie, not much of a turnout but it was still good, the couches were “pulled” from the walls and arranged in a few more social friendly rows near the stage, made it feel even more like a lounge room than it normally does. The bill for the night was Tess Henderson (what a voice), Tom Woodward (see x previous posts on Tom) and Justin Grounds (technically interesting but I was too tired to appreciate it). The light seemed to be at half strength to what it normally is at the Troubie which was a bit bleh for me.
Tess’s piano player, (click image for the gig gallery).
Random Desk Shot.
Yep Christmas Cards are still up, it is only February (when this photo was taken) after all.
I was really tempted not to take a photo on Tuesday, was just so tempted to chucking this whole project in but I took a photo of my saeng cover, I love those flowers dearly. Yay for Ikea.
Wednesday night. 59/366.
Andrea and I went for fish (Barramundi-Andrea, Calamari-Me) and chips and a movie at Portside (Hamilton). We had 1hr 45mins between when the fish and chip shop closed and when our movie started. Granted we probably didn’t leave the fish and chip shop till a good 25mins after it closed, it meant we had quite a bit of time to laze around by the river talking, laughing, chatting and playing. The movie we went to see was Charlie Wilson’s War, which was not as funny as I thought it would be.
Thursday night I went to photograph Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Manchester Orchestra at the Zoo. I met Alain Bouvier, that was a laugh. I started talking to one of the other photographers, he said he was French etc etc, I asked if he knew Ange Takats, he said of course and we laughed, we knew of each other through Ange, that was a laugh. Music wise I preferred Manchester Orchestra over CYHSY, I left shortly after our three songs were up for CYHSY. I think that explains it.
Manchester Orchestra, (click image for the gig gallery).
Drinking Receptacles. 60/366
Friday was a hell of a day at work, just never seemed like I was going to get my work done. I got it all done though.
Friday night I went out to dinner at Sitar with Andrea and some of her high school friends who I had met round her parties before.
80% of us had the deluxe banquet. I was glad I wore a dress as I wasn’t unbuckling a top button like the others. Oh it was good, of the four curries we picked, the only one which we all disliked was the Bengal Prawn Masala most likely because the prawns were like rubber. The Lamb Korma was oh my and don’t get me started on the Peshwari Naan. I could eat that for breakfast, lunch and tea for the rest of my life.
That brings us to today, Saturday which will very much be another blog post as that has photos, photos, photos of the spires going on St John’s.