Enigma Bar, Adelaide 1-9-01
Bluebottle Kiss proved something tonight - 45 minutes can go very far. Tonight's display of rock majestism by these guys should be nearly impossible to surpass. The venue was The Enigma Bar - a relatively new upstairs gig venue on Adelaide's famous Hindley Street. Accompaniment came from Hummel and Pollyanna.
The guys made their way on stage after a good 10 minutes of tweaking with the sound volumes. Immediately they launched into their recently revived To Think I'd Ever Disappoint You. Starting off rather calm and relaxed, the going got intense at a very early stage as the duelling guitar fury and reckless stage wandering set it. Ben's slide guitar was sounding exceptionally good tonight, as was the rest of the band's collaboration. This was going to be some fun ride.
Time to get very serious. If you're like me and believe that Bluebottle Kiss are constantly flirting with perfectionism with the songs they've conjured, you heard nothing yet. Like a tornado tearing through the audience, the band launched into their newie, Hasten the Blows. A unique Bluebottle Kiss sounding song, closely married to a sound of commercialism, this delightful track is the finest Bluebottle Kiss song I've ever heard in my long term gig-going experience. The intensity was overwhelming, the level of catchiness was extremely high, and the performance was outstanding. The best aspect to this song is the masterful songwriting/structuring that went into it. An instant set highlight, and there was so much more to come.
Enter Lover's Tiff, a track not allowing any break in intensity. The guitar rhythm introduced the song, then the sparks flew for the 3 minute fest of Bluebottle Kiss' closest resemblance of punk. Ben Grounds was into the full swing of things with his now signature head tiled back and body swing manoeuvres, Ben Fletcher was rocking it out like he does best, Richard was in the right frame of mind and sounding flawless on the drums, and Jamie Hutchings was on song, vocals in brilliant touch.
Richard couldn't wait to get immediately into Give up the Ghost, and the band followed his lead. There was no let up for the boys this evening, they cracked this song up to full volume and displayed exactly why this track is one of the favourites of their previous album. The guitar solo, arguably the most recognised guitar solo to Bluebottle Kiss, was executed to perfection and the guys were undoubtedly ontop of their performance.
Now was an apt time to take it down a notch, beginning with a 4 or 5 minute calmness to the start of Maps to Help You Lose Your Way. A good chance to give the crowd a breather after setting their pulses racing with one of the most frantic first halves of any set. The best features of this song is Ben's haunting guitar wailings, then entering into Jamie letting go and reaching falsetto with this brilliantly structured epic. The end was an exact opposite to the start, very telling song for the band as it sums up their diversity nicely.
Return to the City of Folded Arms was the third Patient song in a row. Ben partnered Jamie with duelling lead vocals. The set now had a great deal of charm. The mix of the sound with each band member doing their own different thing combined brilliantly, then erupted into one hell of a climax that is impossible to anything but please the 300 or so audience members. Bluebottle Kiss were absolutely stunning tonight.
Enter major surprise number two: Last Cinema. I thought nothing in this world could compare to Hasten the Blows, but didn't care as the highs of that song was too much for me as it was. I hadn't heard nothing yet!! This song is probably just as good, if not, better. The track is made to conquer, with the instant appeal very great.
Words cannot describe the emotions tied in with this particular number, all I can say is to wait with baited breath to have the opportunity to hear it next, if you're one of those unlucky ones to have not had the privilege as yet. Goddamn BbK are so fine.
I for one was embarrassed to see such a world class performance being performed to a non-sell out crowd, and performing only second in a relatively small band venue. It's just not right. Matrimony was the second calm point of the night, and a superb inclusion. The audience's attention was firmly on the band. Gangsterland then followed, what was to be their biggest drawcard in their present bag of tricks. It sure was worthy as a giant killer of the airwaves, but as tonight proved, it wasn't their biggest ammo they could pull out. You just wait until early next year. Gangsterland concluded to one of the most intense guitar solos of Mr Hutchings that you will see all too often in upcoming shows, and still constantly be in awe. At this point I can honestly say that I felt as if I've been to heaven and back, and had really had enough. I love Bluebottle Kiss' older music, but now I prefer to hear their newer stuff.. and that's taking absolutely nothing away from their back catalog of gems.
Tonight ended great, as the epic Homeless Blueless took centre stage. Everyone just sat there and rode the waves... first pop, then some delicate vocals, then a tidal wave of action. The finale was one of the biggest and best ever seen, the photos merely evidence.
Here's a scorecard of the night;