Alpine + Pearls + Olympia @ Triffid, 03.07.2015


It was a surprise to open Brisbane street press publication, ‘The Music’, a couple of weeks ago and find that the lead review for that edition only gave the new Alpine album 2.5 stars. Obviously whether or not it was worthy of 2.5 stars is neither here nor there, albums by Australian acts getting anything less than 3 stars in any Australian music publication is a rare event. I reckon if I went through a whole year’s worth of Australian music media album reviews, I be very unlikely to get into double figures in terms of Australian acts getting any grading lower than 3 stars for their album. The only album I’ve ever known to get a 1 star review was that time terrible Sydney band (but obviously with all the right connections) The Art got one from Rave. As the rules of the Australian music press dictate, 1. Don’t rock the boat; and 2. Everyone gets three stars (minimum).

I missed Alpine when they played at Laneway a couple of years back. By miss them, I just mean the Zoo stage area was so packed and as the band had already started, I aborted the attempt to get to the photo pit even before it had begun and went and saw something else, something that I could get somewhere near being actually able to physically see (I think it might have been back to see more of Japandroids). Having missed them, I was keen to see them, hence applying to cover this show.

My notes from the time say ‘Pearls album cover. Pearls not very good’. Pearls aren’t anything special, certainly not living up to the media hype behind them. I think the note about Pearls album cover was to make a comment about how it only shows the female members of the band, giving an impression before you hear them that they’re going to sound different from what they actually do.

Alpine are an unsuitable fit for a fairly small inside venues because you could so easily see them playing sunset sets at the big festivals. They’re playing Maroochy Festival this year and I thought they were billed above DZ Deathrays which, even though would be quite a bold piece of billing, makes perfect sense and wouldn’t be surprised to see them occupying similar positions when whatever’s left of the Australian summer festivals come around. However, I think the festival advert has its bands listed in alphabetical order (plus a secret headline act that hasn’t yet been announced), which seems to suddenly be the way that festival billboards work now. It begs the question “Why do festivals all list their line-ups alphabetically now?” Is it due to prima donna music acts not wanting to be ranked in some sort of order and in smaller font than other acts? Or is it festival organisers not wanting to provide any advance information on who might be clashing with who on other stages.

Either way, Alpine are seriously impressive tonight, it’s a shame I missed out at Laneway.

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