WHO: The Bloodpoets
WHEN: 27th April 2012
WHERE: The Hi-Fi, Brisbane
Rain was coming down in torrents as I threw back a couple of warm-up beers at the Rumpus Room last night, before legging it across the street to the Hi-Fi to check out The Bloodpoets. Previous visits to the popular West End venue haven’t been the most pleasant of gig experiences, as the punters tend to be uncomfortably packed in and the bar impossible to get at, but this night would prove to be different. A sparse crowd turned out to see the Brisbane alt-rockers; not such great news for The Bloodpoets, but a welcome relief to the regular gig-goer. With a choice of vantage points and a regular flow of beers, I settled in to absorb the show.
First up was young Brisbane five-piece The Later Dates, who played a short set of fun and harmless pop songs. Singer-guitarist Samantha Perren has a nice country twang to her voice and her band has appealing youthful naivety by the bucket load.
In stark contrast, the boys of Bang Bang Boss Kelly look and sound anything but harmless. With lead singer Alex Henriksson’s gruff, raw vocals, and his bands’ Australiana folk-rockabilly sound, they hand the listless Hi-Fi audience an aural slap to the face. Despite sound problems and a couple of false starts on ‘Van Demon’s Land’, they ultimately fill out a set with plenty of heart and Springsteen-esque touches, and leave the crowd wanting more.
The Bloodpoets have been slowly and surely building a fanbase in these parts with their high-energy shows and this gig will only add to that. Coming out of the traps with the slowly-building sound of ‘City Lights’, the band immediately show they can make quite an impressive noise for three guys and a girl.
Keyboardist Bec Plath is the focal point of energy and showmanship as she throws her arms around in a frenzy between verses, while singer-guitarist Thomas Murphy remains fairly static behind the microphone, and the rhythm section of Jake Parker and Todd Orchard bash out the bass lines and beats respectively.
Third song ‘Adrenaline’ ups the pace and gets the small crowd moving, and by the time ‘Sunny Day’ (complete with catchy horn part) is rolled out, there is a definite bouncing motion happening among the punters down the front.
The set highlight is undoubtedly new single ‘War’; a ninety second flash of punk rock perfection, and the song The Bloodpoets are here promoting. It’s an electrifying, high-tempo slice of energy that passes all too quickly; but one that’s gaining a lot of radio play on Triple J and should heap extra exposure on the local band.
After a small encore, half-heartedly encouraged by an audience who have generally been on snooze mode all evening, the band thank everyone for coming and head off the stage. It’s not a gig that will go down in history, but The Bloodpoets proved they have the energy, songs, and versatility to be a promising force. Next stop: that ‘difficult’ second album.
Paul McBride - AAA Backstage