Event Listing (VIC)
There’s a lot to be said for “a night out in Brisbane in Melbourne”. Said events occur when hordes of ex-Brisbanites descend en masse upon any given Melbourne venue to witness those Brisbanites who have stuck it out up north playing their brand of whatever it is they play up there. Tonight’s hosts are the friendly folk at the Old Bar (super-friendly, honestly – that was a shameless plug). And only an ex-Brisbanite themself could explain the intricate combination of ex-Brisbanites – Miles Morant (former On/Ox member) and Matt Jonas (former Shuriken/Zebras/Rational Academy member_ – that make up one half of opening band Breaker Morant. They somehow managed to create some sort of frenetic brit-rocky groove that I don’t hate.
The people this reviewer came to see, however, are up next. The Rational Academy are a hard band to write sentences about. Lead singer Ben Thompson’s perfectionism is something that obviously drives this band to be one of the cleverest around – this set sees the usual Jim O’Rourke guitar stylings forming a freakishly complimentary mix with Meredith McHugh’s lush vocals, drums played both by human and machine, and a laptop doing things I don’t understand. As usual, sound at the Old Bar is on the sketchy-side but the audience seem happy, the band appropriately drunk, and somewhere in Melbourne a tiny little niche in the indie scene is filled – albeit temporarily – by the only folk that could fit it.
Melbourne Stalwarts Ninetynine headline – to even up the North/South polarity – and with their live shows being a rarity these days, we’re treated to a band so together that even when they fuck up, they fuck up together. Watching Cameron drum while one is drunk and on a lot of drugs is probably something akin to a religious if not just plain violating experience – in the best way. With a host of new songs included in this set, it’s a reassuring sign that these guys are still trucking.
Melbourne and Brisbane: congratulations, you’re a happy couple.
by J. Shulman
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