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Firebirds and a face full of Gravel

by Brett Allen-White, images by Kate Davies / 01.09.2010

It’s getting a little late. We’re pumping Doomriders first album Black Thunder, nodding heads to their abrasive blend of bluesy hardcore, and screeching down Baden Powell Drive like a soccer mom car out of Hell. I didn’t get a Pontiac Firebird for my 21st. Renault Modus. Laugh it up.

The Hidden Cellar isn’t built for bands. It’s cramped. Hot. Loud. It reminds me of Roger Young. I like it. Dylan, the lumberjack I arrived with, and his bottle of Tassies have disappeared. I’m standing at the entrance having a word with the Lottery Tickets manager, Fred, about the Great Apes. He seems to be quite a big fan. I haven’t heard them before, and all of a sudden I can’t stop thinking about grapes. I hate grapes. But I make a note to check them out. The band, not the fruit. Horrible little things.

The opening band, Youth, is emo. And young. Which I guess makes sense. Their vocalist is reaching high notes I wouldn’t have thought possible for a man out of his teens, but despite the “we’re singing about our girlfriends” impression I get, they’re not half bad.

Goodness knows why, but I still love bands like Saves the Day and the Get Up Kids, and Youth remind me of a classic, honest emo band from that era… not some scenester nonsense group dressed up in Tim Burton uniforms. It’s pop punk, without pop punk guitars. I’d like to check them out again when they’ve had some time to tighten up and play with a more capable sound engineer. At the end of their set I resist the urge to give them a hug and some girl advice.

The Lottery Tickets

I don’t think I’ve met one person who’s gone to a Lottery Tickets show and left disappointed.

Sure, in the beginning they weren’t the tightest thing since a dolphin’s butt (water tight), but a year and a bit later I’m finding them to be one of the most exciting new bands to watch. Take indie rock, and add a dash of intelligent pop. Now shave the moustaches, drop the arrogance (you’re not doing anything the Rolling Stones didn’t do years ago, dude) and cut the obsession with those simpleton disco beats, and you’re left with something close to their sound.

I didn’t do a write up on their set. I was too busy dancing and singing along with the entire club. It’s contagious, infectious, but without the need for ointment. School teachers supporting Robbie cheered like bare-breasted teenagers at a KISS concert, free peach champagne flowed like milk from Mother Nature’s swollen bosom, and I even managed to tolerate the invading photographers (It’s simple: tap me on the shoulder and request that I give some space so you can take photos. Don’t shove me with your camera). That’s two references to boobs, if you didn’t catch them.

In addition to it being their official album launch for Occupations, it’s also drummer James “This Ring is a Fucking Birth Right” Regout’s farewell, as he’s moving to some place with no sunlight and shit weather for a while. I’m a bit sad about this, and choose to express myself with Jagermeister, which continues to haunt me until the beginning of the work week.

We end up at the petrol station with the Lottery boys after what turns out to be a blur of a night, craving things of dough and deep fried cheese, when I manage to get involved with someone confrontational. This charming young man, who I’m going to call Anger Boer, has decided to shout at his girlfriend and grab her arm because he isn’t ready to stop drinking and wants to go back to Bokke, boet. I mention, in passing, while eating a delicious burger that he shouldn’t treat his girlfriend like that. I end up with a face full of gravel (why on Earth was this primate holding a fistful of gravel… in case his girl stepped out of line?), and decide it’s best to taunt him from the inside of the car.

One thing a Renault Modus has that a Pontiac Firebird doesn’t is an auto-lock button. Good thing too, because it took three of the Incredible Hulk’s friends to choke hold him and pull him back from the window.

*Images © Kate Davies.

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