The Rev, Brisbane 11-08-06

Review by Hana Garvey

An Horse (Kate Cooper of Iron On) starts proceedings with an electric guitar and songs that echo tales we can all relate to. Solo renditions of some Iron On standards are also delivered in an unassuming, but compelling style. Brisbane staples The Gin Club are always welcome patriots and their trademark rock-shanty swagger quickly fills the room. The set builds momentum all the way to the closer ‘Drug Flowers’. 

Not only are Bluebottle Kiss playing latest double album Doubt Seeds from start to finish tonight, but they’re playing it with the help of horns, a choir, piano, violin, and a second drum kit. Hence the three-tiered stage and limited standing room in front of it. Jamie Hutchings’ vocals hit you in the guts from the first note and are spot on. He has a range that flows from spitting passion to vulnerable subtlety. The songs are as impressive as his voice, and dip their fingers in a range of musical pots. From a duel in the dusty desert, screaming riffs splitting the gallop of guitars (‘Nova Scotia’), to beautifully crafted lullabies ‘(Little Dissapearer’).The angelically dressed four-girl choir prove their worth instantly and appear in varied formations adding a dimension that stays true to the recordings. Keys are present in most songs while the horns and strings punctuate at just the right moments. The banjo appears also, but it’s so subtle one can hardly recognise it in the mix. Both drum kits pound through the floorboards for ‘Sailor’s Knot’, the choir building in the back as the whole piece rises to a crescendo. Once again the tandem drumming lifts the hushed sentiment of ‘A Little Bit Of Light’ before we approach the halfway mark. ‘Judas Hands’ is all rock’n’roll, but like so many BBK tracks on this album, delves into any number of other influences to great effect. ‘I Ain’t Planning To Stay’ is echoed by the choir and an all-in instrument onslaught ensues. Ben Grounds (tightest buns in rock) is fantastic on guitar, curling over his instrument and working off the energy on the stage. BBK are fervent in their delivery throughout and when two albums’ worth of material is still not enough to satisfy the eager punters, they return for an encore of ‘Gangsterland’ from the Revenge is Slow album. Hutchings jumps to the floor to gallantly twirl much obliging patrons before romping the stage, eventually to be hoisted off his feet and carried away by an equally excitable Grounds. Despite the minor sound issues, the performance tonight was nothing short of amazing. There is not nearly enough space here to adequately describe it, suffice to say it is one night that won’t easily be forgotten.




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