Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Devastations / The Kissaway Trail @ The Spitz, 22 April 2007
Expectations. They can go a long way to determining your enjoyment of a gig, can’t they? Have you had high hopes, only to see them frustrated? Or low hopes only to have them blown away? Well, I had both the other night.
The disappointment came in the shape of Devastations. I’m not sure what it was. Maybe it was the rather thin Sunday evening crowd (was the warm weather and beer gardens and barbeques more attractive than an evening upstairs at the Spitz?) and consequent lack of atmosphere. Maybe it was that the Aussie band played a set comprising mostly unfamiliar songs. Now, I only know their latest long player Coal and I initially assumed that they were playing old tunes off their self-titled debut record. But no. Towards the end, bassist and singer Conrad Standish said that they were playing a lot of new songs, because they had “just come out of the studio” and they had “new toys and are going to use them”.
Maybe that’s it then. Devastations must have thought that they were playing to their own crowd, who would be comfortable with all the new stuff. But I wasn’t. There was none of the lovely sweeping melancholia that made Coal so good. There just weren’t the decent tunes and emotion that I expected. Only What’s a Place Like That… from Coal was aired (I think). And the “toys” seemed to be devices that made electronic beats which added little to the music. And I don’t think I was the only one not feeling it either. At the end of the set, the crowd was markedly thinner than when the band took to the stage. Who knows, maybe these tunes off the album are growers, but on the night they weren’t doing anything for me.
Here’s a little reminder of the quality of the songs on Coal.
Download: Devastations – Terrified
Download: Devastations – Take You Home
On the other hand I had no expectations of support band The Kissaway Trail. I hadn’t heard any of their songs. I hadn’t even any time to check their myspace. So I was pleased to be immediately transfixed when the four guys in tight skinny jeans stepped up to their mics and launched into the first number. It’s probably a good thing when you can’t work out who the lead singer is after the first song. They all sang, even the drummer. Big-sounding indie rock with decent tunes, bah bah bah singalong bits and some fine riffing and general noise. With three guitars in action you’d expect a bit of that though. These five Danish lads are probably not a band who’re going to change the world, but for a support slot on a quiet spring evening, they were as good as I could have hoped for. Their self-titled debut album is out on Bella Union this week. Who knows, I might even get it.
Download: The Kissaway Trail – Smother + Evil = Hurt
Buy Coal and The Kissaway Trail.