The Thin Kids
Audience: 18 and over
Level 2, 322 Brunswick St, Brisbane
QLD, 4006, Australia.
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To pre-empt an answer to your inevitable question, I'm reviewing this show because it's a cultural artefact frozen in time. At 10.30pm on February 24 2010, The Thin Kids are relevant for 45 minutes, and perhaps, never again. There are a few ways to interpret tonight's performance:
1. An ego-massaging vanity project started by four local music identities;
2. A proper avant-garde/punk/folk/pop band, deserving of considered critical appraisal;
3. An in-joke that's so bad, it's good.
I side with reason #3 from the moment someone wails a loud "fuck off!" from the back of the room as soon as the band address the crowd (and oddly, it's there that the heckling stops). I get the feeling that everyone here is in on the joke, too. It's doubtful that anyone among the dozens here is assuming the role of actual music critic. I'm not. To begin critiquing the show on a musical level is, frankly, to miss the point.
The Thin Kids are a project dreamed up by Everett True - music journalist, Kurt and Courtney's original go-between, current PhD student and occasional stage performer as “The Legend!” - and Edward Guglielmino, a well-travelled Brisbane musician in his own right. Were this a regular band, you'd call True “the vocalist” and Guglielmino the “guitarist”. But they're not regular - not really, anyway - so let's not shoehorn them into roles. True's British accent bumbles around the room on '23 Things I'd Like To Change About The Brisbane Music Scene'. Excerpts include, “No streetpress”, “no stairs” and “no Ric's” (in reference to the venue across the road). There’s also 'Listening To Flipper On The Car Stereo' and a couple of tall tales based around The Thin Kids' conception.
“Some might consider us avant-garde,” deadpans True, in reference to a street press review of their support performance for The Cribs last week. (The sentence ended, “...but most would deem irrevocably shit.”)
The very existence of The Thin Kids is based on this circular, self-referencing nature. WhoTheHell.net critic Sophie Benjamin recently commented that the band are "an in-joke that shouldn’t have been let out”, so naturally, they debut a song written around that critique. The words are distributed among the audience by xylophonist and back-up vocalist Maggie Collins - manager of local acts DZ, The John Steel Singers and Skinny Jean, and Gugliemino's partner - before the band realise they've given out all of the sheets, and that they don't actually know the words. Scott Regan, key member of The Gin Club, is tonight’s tipsy drummer and keyboardist.
'You're Not On The Guestlist, You're Not Coming In!' closes the set; the four peter out upon exhausting their supply of songs. Or jokes. By this point, I can't tell anymore.
by Andrew McMillen