WHO: Jonathan Boulet
WHERE: The Hi Fi – Brisbane
WHEN: Friday June 29
I vaguely remember a Dr Seuss story written about monkeys and banging on drums, lots of drums. What crazy relation does drumming monkeys have with Jonathan Boulet’s show? Well other than drums and getting your attention, nothing. But percussion was definitely in the drivers seat on Friday night.
Walking into The Hi Fi to catch the start of the first support Oh Ye Denver Birds, I was quite shocked to see it so empty with no one claiming the barrier and the existing audience, all sitting on the ascending floor. This instantly made it feel awkward. Unfortunately for Oh Ye Denver Birds, this nervous tension reflected in their playing, which of course didn’t encourage anyone to break the chain and start jumping. But bless them; they did play a fun set.
Despite the awkward situation, the band tried hard to keep conversations flowing and performed fun tracks with deep bass and lots of snare. They were a perfect fit for the line-up and were ready, Brisbane were not. However they handled the situation well and still kept the fun, so hats off to them.
I was intrigued to see how the growing crowd would respond to the next act, Wolf and Cub. Deep down I wanted the band to simply walk onstage and yell “Brisbane, get the fu.. up” and funnily enough, they kind of did. Not by cursing, but with their musicianship. Such a buoyant and energetic start seemed to spark everyone’s attention and finally got people on the barrier and bodies moving. The band performed so strongly together and were so confident in there playing that it only intensified their sound and would of felt wrong to be seated.
The track ‘Shut me out’ showed off elements their of groove, funk and even traces of The Black Keys. They performed an impressive set, but what was most impressive was the presence of two drummers. Two drummers equaled twice the sound and the band certainly did make a lot of good sounds. They played so tight and in sync with the bass and guitar being so crisply layered on top. Wolf and Cub certainly got Brisbane buzzing and concluded to a much fuller and appreciative Hi Fi.
Then came Jonathan ‘Marvelous Beard’ Boulet. Beginning with backs to the audience, the band gave off the impression that we didn’t matter. Yet it was only towards the end of the night that I realised the importance of this relationship to keep such a tight and well-coordinated sound. Playing tracks like ‘A community service announcement’ and ‘ This song is called ragged’ (Keep an ear out for this one), Boulet treated Brisbane to a night of enjoyable and lively sounds.
Not to re-mention the drums.
In addition to Boulet’s mountain of talent, was the possession of not one but two percussionists. According to Boulet it was only the third show with the band for their new female drummer, yet performing as if they’d been together for years; they played a tight and colorful set. Wrapping up the night with tracks ‘Trounce’ and ‘You’re a animal’, I can only describe the audience as being put in a state similar to fish out of water. With the strong drumbeats leaving everyone flouncing and whipping their bodies in an I-don’t-care-where-my-arms-go-this-is-fun way.
Finishing with a bang of energy, Brisbane replied with an appreciative applause before heading out. In the end it was a night of drums, crazy fish dancing and an excellent beard.
Kirsten Sullivan- AAA Backstage