The 13th of September may have been my Birthday but it was also a working night, and a working day, basically I tried to ignore the fact that I’m getting older and older, and the horrible implications that thought contains.
I arrived in the new city of indie nonsense in inauspicious tones, my mum gave me a lift in her corporate car. Northcote is the new Fitzroy, in that almost every store is some kind of ridiculous indie concept store selling bean bags made out of homeless people’s beards, or recycled hats as children’s clothes. They also pedal the kind of terrible noise bands that sound like the East Brunswick All Girls Choir, only… just as bad.
However, this night was not about that bullshit. Collector, Danvers, & Rosie Catalano were putting on a show of low key solo performances under candle light and wood fire at the estimable Wesley Anne. If you’ve never been over to the Wesley Anne, I beg you to wade through all that aforementioned bullshit and grab a table at this cosy little motherfucker. The drinks aren’t what I’d call cheap, but the food is great. I ate the corpses of several dead animals cured in salt and spices under the wooden beams and waited for the music.
This is just a general question to the readership: How are you meant to orient yourself in Northcote? I know it’s just one main street… but every time I go there I feel like the world has shifted on it’s axis and I have no idea where anything is. If you have any suggestions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After waiting around, talking to friends, and sneaking special birthday rum from my flask, the music began. I was on my way by this point, and adjourned outside for a miserable little death stick and some company. The sounds of Collector filtered through the glass as I talked rumours, and waited for the Silver Hammer to show up and start snapping some damn pictures so that I could be assured a jog of the memory when I at last write this review in the hazy fog and headache of a wednesday morning.
Collector was pleasant, but akin to a zoo in the daytime, inexorably dull. I just tried to google them, and got lost amid the milieu. Collector win my grand prize for the most un-google-able name of recent memory — it doesn’t help that there are already a billion bands called Collector, not to mention several towns, and an ABC show hosted by that guy who turned out to have a whole kiddie porn stash or something.
Now, I have a bias other than my usual prejudices that I think is worth noting. Danvers is a friend, he even gave me a birthday dedication which touched me in a way much more wholesome than that of a Kennedy on a stripper. That said, I’ve only ever seen him play with Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire! and frankly, I’m just not really partial to people playing guitars and singing by themselves, let alone blues. People playing blues always reminds me of sad middle aged white men in country pubs/RSLs wearing leather vests and ear studs, usually wailing on a strat while lamenting their poor decision making abilities and their shitty treatment of their ex-wife.
Danvers is not of that breed. Not in the slightest. What Dave served up was an inventive mix of traditional blues and jazz forms mashed through a filter of music that is actually interesting and relevant. He uses a different voice for Danvers, it’s kind of a pastiche of an old bluesman. That sounds terrible, I understand, but it’s hard to describe and frankly describe the sound of music is a waste of my time and yours. Go to Danvers soundcloud. Go there. There you will hear what it sounds like, although Dave, when you read this, you need new songs.
Anyway, Danvers was great.
By this time the Kook live team was fully present, replete with Maxwell snapping away his little happy snaps and my house mate listening to me drunkenly rant. Poor Rosie Catalano, I was far too drunk too appreciate anything verging on subtlety at this point. She was kind enough to extend my birthday dedication, and I was kind enough to yell “Fucking Pigs!” in a caricature of a gruff bogan voice as a police siren whirred by.
The Wesley Anne is a nice place, for nice people, with candles and pretty lights, and exposed ceiling beams, people that yell over pretty girls playing acoustic guitars have no place there, but c’mon, it was my birthday.