Nobody left feeling blue, ALL on the juice!
With the fans on 3 and set to oscillate, The Zoo had a real 'big summer gig' feel about it and promised much.
Local Indi-pop 4 piece, Last Dinosaurs, opened proceedings with a whole lot of cool.
Although the set was short, it was catchy and fun and pretty much impossible not to
enjoy. With a sound clearly influenced by trendsetters like The Strokes and Maximo Park, they were always going to be onto a good thing albeit, done before, luckily though Last Dinosaurs are tight and charismatic enough to convince you that it's a sound they've just invented. Proving once again, that sometimes it does pay to arrive at ‘doors open’, Last Dinosaurs were great crowd warm up on a night that was clearly going to get HOT.
When Skinny Jean were in the hands of the starter the establishment was halfway full and ready for some noise. Now a 5 piece indie band is nothing out of the ordinary, but when 1 of those pieces represents vibraphone/glokenspiel/synth/percussion, I'm intrigued. Unfortunately, for a band that promised much at the set-up stage, I wasn’t all that impressed with the early tracks of the set. Instrumentally Skinny Jean painted pictures of happy indie-pop but Shem Allen quickly erased the image with frantic and overly intense vocals. Veins popping, saliva flying and body convulsions just seemed all a little too put-on for so early in a set. Having said that, the set itself was well constructed, with each song loaded with potential, and some of them hitting the mark. The first highlight came when Allen relinquished vocal honours to guitarist Andrew Sydes. It was the first time vocal delivery sat comfortable with musical backing, and was an extremely enjoyable song. The next great track was delivered by Jemma Hicks (the afore mentioned wielder of the glockenspiel etc.) and was a moody, sexy heartfelt number with elements reminiscent of Bertie Blackman without at all feeling like a rip-off. From here the set seemed to find it’s feet and the band and performance as a whole seemed to tighten. Tracks; Anhedonia and Aliens were real good, and Alright was great. Overall Skinny Jean did have times where I thought ‘Oh yeah, this is why I’ve heard about these guys!’ unfortunately, not enough of them. On myspace these guys sound great, so I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and saying it just wasn’t a great night for Skinny Jean.
The headline set was clearly one that Brisbane was pumped to see; the ‘Bluejuice… Bluejuice’ chants started well before Sydney boys were ready to grace us. Festival frequenters Bluejuice, have erected (pretty sure they’d be happy with me using that word) quite a reputation for loud, sweaty, fast-paced, crowd pleasing shows and tonight was definitely going to keep that rep in tact.
Probably known just as well for their sarcastic, piss-take antics as for their music (claiming on their band bio that the band was conceived in a seedy Bangkok strip club after original lead singer Daryl Braithwaite had ditched them), tonight was the party loving 5 piece in top form.
Fronting vocal duo, Jake Stone and Stav Yiannoukas delivered all the tunes the frothing mass wanted; Phantom Boogie came early, as did I Ain’t Telling The Truth, and incited a whole heap of riot-like activity. Barely a few songs into the set, Stone was shirtless and clawing his toes over the stage-front so that mindless female fans could caress his sweaty torso.
Although he barely gets a look in with such exhibitionist frontmen obscuring his seated position, Jerry Craib is the man most responsible for the Bluejuice sound. Bashing the keys and producing a gospel organ on acid noise that is equally as uplifting and exorcising as it is demonically body possessing, this is subconsciously the crowd’s junkie-like vice. Bassist Jamie Cibej and Skinsman James Hauptmann are the remaining two integral parts of this deceptively tight outfit.
Bluejuice have an uncanny way of subliminally forcing you to get wilder and louder and drunker then you had originally planned. It’s because of this ‘talent’ that I’m a little hazy on the order of appearance of song in the set. But rest assured all the goodies were their; epic new single Broken Leg, steady thumper The Reductionist and of course their first and biggest single to date Vitriol.
I’m sure there’s not too many that haven’t heard of Bluejuice, and by now nearly as few that are yet to see them live, ‘cause they’ve quickly stamped themselves as one of the most fun, energetic and impressive performers. If you haven’t seen them, do yourself a favour. If you have, you know what I’m talking about. Heed the word and ‘give it a little bit of Vitriol…’