Who: The Belligerents / Tourism / Pigeon
Where: Coniston Lane, Brisbane
When: Friday 7th of July 2012
The doors were meant to open at 8pm according to The Belligerents Facebook page, so you can understand why there were so many cold, confused, and slightly irritated hipster kids gathered out the front of Coniston Lane’s gate at 9pm, still waiting to be let in.
As the doors open, the room slowly fills. It is quite a relief to hear some music. Tourism takes the stage with their light hearted indie rock, similar to that of fellow Brisbanites, The Last Dinosaurs. They have an obvious Brit-rock influence that can be tied back to so many bands; Blur, The Kooks, Oasis. The difference between Tourism and the other Aussie bands that sing in this Brit-style, is that the frontman Joe, and brother James, are actually British! Now while this is style is very popular, it is very simple, with almost every song being played in the same key, with the same four chord structure. But as a wise man once said, you don’t need talent to be famous, you just need to be popular.
Luckily however, these guys are very talented, regardless of the simplicity of the music. The tunes are lovely, and fitting in with the night’s theme, it makes everyone want to dance. The group played some new tracks off the EP they are about to begin recording. There are big things to come for Joe, James, Adrian and Bear, so check them out at one of their shows!
Next up is Pigeon, and as they are setting up, you have absolutely no idea of what they will sound like. You see a trumpet, a saxophone, three synths, an electric drum/percussion machine, a drumkit, a bass and a guitar. Yet there are only 5 people setting up on the small stage. It leaves you to wonder. As they begin playing, they have a strong 80’s and 90’s disco sound, but definitely not as corny. Think New Order, meets Groove Armada’s Superstylin’.
As each band member, including the drummer, has a synth in front of them, not a lot of traditional rock music is being made, and there are many layers of electronica. It is a very unique style, and is nearly impossible to explain, as they mash almost every genre into the one song, but Pigeon carry a tremendous amount of energy, which gets the crowd bouncing. If you want a true description of them, you may have to ask the band themselves. But until then, think of this; M83 and T-Pain on vocals, Pendulum providing the bass, Miami Horror chipping in on the synth, SBTRKT working on the drums, and Coltrane bringing the sax. Yeah.
The crowd is well and truly warmed up by the time that The Belligerents hit the stage at 11.10. One by one the band comes in with their instruments, stretching the intro to Imagination out for an extra couple of minutes. The five members have a reputation for being party starters, and when they begin to play crowd favourite These Hands, you know that the party has well and truly begun! The crowd is very responsive, and is one of the most energetic audiences to have set foot in Coniston Lane for some time! The floor is packed, and they love the fuzzed out jangly pop that The Belligerents are providing.
It seems like each song runs into the next, with very little difference between them. They have a high beat count, with a strong electronic feel, given mainly by the synth, but also with the fuzz and reverb of the guitars.
She Calls The Shots is not only the name of the tour, but is also the name of the new EP by the band, and the name of a single, which is played with a great response. As are other new songs Infatuation, Steal Money, Wait, and opener Imagination.
When the aforementioned new track, Infatuation plays, the beat count slows and shows that the band are capable of being a rock band, and not one to only be considered dance. Minus a few technical difficulties during this song, it is a great way to give the crowd a break, as they are literally making the floor bounce. They then jump into older track Bye Bye Bye and rebuild the speed and momentum, gaining energy again, and going nuts for the appreciative audience.
The band conclude their set early as they unfortunately started late, but they still managed to fit in a solid encore, filled with the crazy fuzz and reverb we are used to, with some of the craziest bass to hit Brisbane this weekend, and the kick drum tearing through your ribcage like a bulldozer. The song was called Von Strudel, and according to The Belligerents, was unprepared for the night. If that was the case, massive props to them! It was almost a jam session. The song started slow and psychedelic, then speeding up, and just going nuts at the crowds expense! The band invite the entire audience up on stage, and then conclude the set at that, with a stage full of epic party goers. This was definitely the craziest party to tear through town this weekend.
Tom Noyes - AAA Backstage