Okay, so I’m biased when it comes to all things ‘Down Under’….
Aussie wine tastes better, Aussie beaches are unbeatable and Aussie men… well, okay so maybe not EVERYTHING about my homeland is superior.
One thing I’m not about to shout to the world is that all Aussie bands are fantastic. I’ve seen my fair share of disasters, both at home and abroad. Country of origin has absolutely nothing to do with the power of a riff. Despite this, I can safely say that a hell of a lot of fine bands have made the trek across the ocean to spread their tunes across the globe.
After my genitalia overload at the theatre last night (see The World In Pictures at Riverside Studios and you’ll know what I mean) I thought I considered heading home in search of normality (and sanity) but duty called and boy am I glad I answered. I don’t often make the trek to Earl’s Court. The last time I visited it was to gawk at the human insides on display at ‘Bodies – The Exhibition’. This time, I dragged my Swedish mate to The Troubadour – a character packed 50s coffee house, complete with a club and art gallery.
Stumble upon this place and you have no idea there’s a hidden gig grotto downstairs. Dark, intimate and traditionally decorated, it’s a gem of a venue. Heading down the narrow stairs is like entering an age-old wine cellar (with a wine list to match). Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon all played there in the 60s… it’s always nice to think the small acts you see there now might one day join the list of legends.
Speaking of musical greats, by the time we arrived, headline act Spargo were already in full swing. I’d seen them on Sunday at the Barfly in Camden but last night they swapped their acoustic guitars for electric and had upped their stage presence to match the increased instrumental artillery.
After a four-month tour of the UK, they were obviously keen to bid London farewell with gusto. Lead singer Lachie gave his vocal chords a bashing; holding throaty melodic notes beyond the comfort zone. Luckily he’s a man that hits all the right notes. Backed by Mat bashing his way through the set on drums, Andrew on guitar and Shaun on bass, they’re a tight and captivating unit.
It’s great to see a band with such a complete lack of arrogance. It’s obvious it’s all about the music and acknowledging the fans. Judging by the response of the small but enthusiastic audience, the punters appreciate it.
As I fought the Aussie radio cause with Russell Thorpe (UK manage r of The Whitlams – check them out, your music collection needs them), I was reminded of the reason I love intimate gigs in the venues that have pioneered great music throughout the decades. Reason enough to remind myself again tonight at The Tactician’s single launch at The Fly and during my interview with bass player KJ from Aussie band, The Follow (at The Purple Turtle in Camden).
It’s a gig lover’s world in London… thank goodness sleep is so overrated.