TGTF Does ARIA Week 2012: MGM and SPA Australia Showcase at Upstairs Beresford featuring Lime Cordiale, Battleships, The Trouble with Templeton, The Falls and Oceanics – 28th November 2012

By on Thursday, 6th December 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

After the two previous nights seeing acts associated with industry heavyweight Universal Music Australia and digital radio station triple j unearthed, it was time to catch some bands with more independent connections. Wednesday night I headed over to the upstairs floor of the Beresford Hotel (formerly a hotel that was built in 1870 but converted into a swanky nightclub) to catch the showcase being put on MGM (that’s Metropolitan Groove Merchants, the largest independent distributor of Australian music, not an American film company) and SPA Australia. There were supposed to be four bands, but a fifth appeared at the end as a last minute addition.

Usually, the first band at a show has the most unenviable task of warming up a crowd that is only slowly starting to gain in size. Thanks to a hour of free drinks prior to the start of the evening’s sets, the reverse was true for this night at Upstairs Beresford. Oceanics from the Gold Coast, a coastal city 1 hour by plane north of Sydney that is probably every bit as idyllic as the name sounds, no doubt benefitting to the crowd already buzzing from the free booze.

With only one small, local Pipsqueak cider within me, I wasn’t buzzing just from the alcohol; I was definitely feeling their music, which sounded much like the Strokes, if they weren’t from New York but a sunny seaside town. Their lead singer Elliot Weston cuts a compelling frontman figure like Noel Gallagher (will you take a look at that hair???), but thankfully sounds nothing like him. He even had an almost Pete Townshend moment, banging his guitar around in front of his amp to create squealing feedback. Have a listen to their song ‘Jukebox’, and tell me what you think.

Along with a four-piece string quartet and backing band, The Falls came on next. It was explained to me by a new Aussie friend that singers/songwriters Simon Rudston-Brown and Melinda Kirwin were formerly boyfriend/girlfriend but they’ve seen broken up but evidently (and to our great benefit) kept their musical connection. My new friend also said that for her, this duo far surpasses Julia and Angus Stone as the best male/female folk duo in Australia. (I’d have to do some compare and contrasting on that to be sure, but Cheryl can probably do a better job at this than I ever could.)

They’re originally from Darwin, Northern Territories, in the topmost, central part of Australia. They’ve just released their debut EP, ‘Hollywood’, and the first single from the EP, ‘Home’, is as beautiful of a song introduction that you could hope from anyone. Watch the video below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0VqzQU6wGc

Who I thought would be the second to last act of the night was Brisbane’s The Trouble with Templeton. Despite my initial thought that the act’s name was a nod to the children’s book Charlotte’s Web, our friends at the AU Review quickly set me right, clarifying that the name came instead from a title of a Twilight Zone episode.

The first song of their set was a solo version of ‘I Wrote a Novel’ by Thomas Calder (whose project this is), dedicated to MGM’s founder Sebastian Chase, who emceed the night. There is a simple, Teitur-like innocence to Calder’s voice, and he’s already made waves at Filter’s Culture Collide festival in October, so my guess is you’ll be hearing more of him very soon.

Sydney-based Battleships have already gained high-profile fans in Lauren Laverne, Radcliffe and Maconie and the fine folks at Communion, so they’re another band we can expect to hear more of terrestrially. Singer/ guitarist Jordan Sturdee favours a bowtie, which set him apart from everyone else I saw this week. (Well, nearly everyone. Buddy Goode, the winner of the Best Comedy Album ARIA for ‘Unappropriate’, showed up with one and a ruffly ‘70s era shirt the following night.) The word “haunting” would probably be the best way to describe ‘In Retrospect’ (video below) , one of their early songs that might best be compared to Elbow’s sweepy, grand style, but with Wild Beasts’ Hayden Thorpe’s falsetto-type vocals.

And then came the surprise for the night. Not to be confused with a cocktail mixer, the final band was Lime Cordiale. With an E on the end. The kind of band that names their EP ‘Faceless Cat’ has to be some real mental cases, right? Brothers Oliver and Louis Leimbach play guitar and bass, respectively. Earlier in the night, we got a supporting string quartet. But imagine my astonishment to see these two brothers putting aside their guitars in the middle of a song…to play horn instruments! (Turns out they’re both classically trained.)

The result of ‘regular’ rock instruments combined with horns made for what came out as what they call ‘slam pop’: incredibly fun, catchy and eclectic. Oliver has a sultry drawl that you might think would be at odds with this seemingly oddball combination of musical devices, but it works, and it ended my ‘regular’ gig week in Sydney on a fine note. Curious? Watch their video for ‘Pretty Girl’ below.

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4 Responses

5:32 pm
6th December 2012

RT @tgtf: earlier @tgtf: TGTF Does ARIA Week 2012: MGM and SPA Australia Showcase at Upstairs Beresford – 28th November 2012: http://t.c

[…] Trouble With Templeton, who editor Mary caught last year in Sydney, are an Australian five-piece whose sound ranges from slight acoustic whimsy to a brand of yearning […]

[…] The Falls – read part 3 of the AU Review’s From 360 to Vaudeville Smash: The Aussies at SXSW 2013 for more here; read my review of their performance at the MGM and SPA showcase during ARIA Week 2012 through here […]

[…] duo made up of Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston-Brown, who I’d seen over a year ago during the MGM/SPA Australia showcase in Sydney when I’d visited Australia to cover the inaugural ARIA Week and the 2012 ARIAs. At […]

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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