Long considered Perth finest purveyors of morbid, macabre and stirring musical expanses, Schvendes are far removed from their own stereotype. Launching their new split single, Shades of Grey/ Lay The Noose at the Rosemount, the five-piece are a marvel to the scene they call home.
Schvendes are a great band live. When they play their own show they are a wonderful, world-class band. Harking back to 1999, the majority of the mid sized crowd took to the floor, legs crossed and engrossed in the band. “St Rita’s Home” began the set, with Rachel Dease’s voice soaring above the seated crowd. As the lights came on both literally and figuratively, Schvendes had the crowd engrossed and their light show had the entire crowd transfixed. Single, “Shades of Grey” was something quite stunning and as Dease and pianist Tara John were left on stage we were treated to a wondrous version of “You’re The One That I Want”; Olivia Newton-John has nothing. The B-Side to the single, “Lay The Noose” finished their set and with an impressive horn section on stage this is a song that raises those little hairs on the back of your neck. If you judge a show on how many times this happens then put this show in the category of: A Lot.
The ever-present Felicity Groom and The Black Black Smoke did their always-entertaining thing. Whilst not an act I go out of my way to see, The Black Black Smoke do know how to write a song and they certainly know how to play one live on a stage. Felicity Groom has an impressive vocal range and her band compliment her perfectly as they devour a collection of wonderfully crafted pop songs.
Looking the part Minute 36 played to a parochial but small crowd. A band that looked like they could be something great; double bass, simple drum set up and vintage guitar, they failed at being anything other then another poppy-indie band. Tongue in cheek banter helps but musically they falter in their search for originality.
On the complete opposite side to that The Wednesday Society produced forty minutes of ruckus, hard and melodic experiments, purely driven by a want to create angular melodies. No more angular than opening track, “Bags At The Bus Stop,” this is a band that leaves little for the aural sense to conjure, instead throwing everything at you. “If I Have To Be Cruel” and “Pedant” gave us something great and dare I say it something completely relevant.
©Chris Wheeldon. 10th May 2010.
Felicity Groom and The Black Black Smoke
The Wednesday Society
9th May 2010
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