A hard day spent framing pictures and magistrates (for arson and smuggling coke, no less) does not end with a tumbler of Kentucky straight, and falling asleep to repeats of Mad Men. No, this is a review night. Collect the team. Head out to the town and see a show. Try to think of something to say that might mean something… Sometimes it’s harder to strap on your fighting pants, take a bite out of a small child, and head out into the wild world, than others. You press on.
Tonight we see the magnificent Brothers Hand Mirror, Oh Ye Denver Birds, and bail on Megastick Fanfare in favour of a Stalactites souvlaki.
Now, I’m not usually one for public transport. It’s for poor people right? At least it seems to be. Victoria Park Station at 9pm is an ugly place: Kids pregnant with evil, their glittering pig eyes screaming malice as they beg for a durry, and nary a train in sight. “She was like, suckin’ my dick and shit you know, then the cops rolled up.” Charming. We drink some bourbon and wait for the train.
I’d never been to the Buffalo Club, nor had I ever heard of it, which I found very strange. The place is hidden in a back alley near Melbourne Central. Up a flight of stairs and the place reveals itself to be some sort of a function centre. It looks more like a Masonic lodge for sweaty older men to pat each other on the back and rest on their past glories, than an indie-hole. I look for the sauna, but its nowhere to be seen. I can’t spot the lodgers either, its mainly hipster-lite kids in floral prints, and androgynous something-or-others with dreadlocks and douchebag smiles.
First up are Brothers Hand Mirror, who I had never heard of, and didn’t even know were on the bill. A welcome surprise, as they are fantastic. They front up as a two piece, MC and beats man. MC Grant Jonathon Gronewold has that short guy frontman thing—he’s got energy, confidence, pretty damn good flow, and horrible hair. Australian hip hop that doesn’t suck at all. Who would have guessed that was a thing?
As I watched a pretty, young, blonde girl alternate between seductively wiggling her absence of hips, and heading to the bathroom, returning with a smile and a surreptitious brush of the nose, I realised something disturbing. Just about half of the male population of the venue is sporting cigarette shorts and faded canvas backpacks. At night. I assume there was nothing in them.
Maxwell crawls up to the front to take pictures and passes me his beer, which I proceed to drink, banking he wouldn’t notice. A slimy young gentlemen flails his arms wildly in front of me, presumably in a misguided attempt at a flamingo mating ritual. He pulls his peaked cap around erratically, maybe the glare of the lights was too much for his altered brain.
We retire to a booth to await Oh Ye Denver Birds. Hunger and tiredness are rearing their ugly beer-soaked heads. I’m disappointed in my effort to be honest, this is a good show. A fun show. With pretty great music so far, and here I am head in a glass, looking forward to bed. Very weak. Weak like Steve Buscemi.
Oh Ye Denver Birds, oh they of the very bad band name, take the stage slowly. Their bass player and drummer sit patiently waiting for the rest of their band to grace us with their presence. A feeling I remember all too well, and do not envy. They rock out a lot more than their single suggested. That said, the highlight is definitely I Believe in Love, Kid which is a truly transcendent slice of synth-pop, but the set is solid, poppy and above all, enjoyable. To be honest, my attention was largely fixated on the keyboard player slash back-up vocalist above all else. Call me a skeeze, but there is a slick transformation that takes place when a pretty girl takes the stage, for some reason she becomes instantly more desirable. She flicks her hair around like a young Kate Bush, but I like to imagine, without the pathological fear of flying…
I know I should stay to see Megastick Fanfare, after all I’ve heard grand things. Sadly, the desire for a big, greasy, dirty souvlaki to fill my mouth with, wins in the fight for my attentions. We stumble down the stairs and head for Stalactites. Ten minutes later we sit on the floor of Melbourne Central train station, grease threatening to run down my lapels. “I think I’m going to throw up”, groans Maxwell as he struggles through his souvlaki. “Just make sure you aim away from me, I don’t want to have to get this dry cleaned tomorrow”, I reply, while clutching my bloated stomach. Thankfully not throwing up, Maxwell chimes, “I don’t think I could ever wear something again if someone threw up on it”.
Too true, and too soon our night ends with lard on our chins, an empty flask, and nowhere to go but home.
Until next time mahalo.
Photos by Max, there are more here.