First Aid Kit + Little Scout @ The Zoo, 16.03.2012

As is becoming a habit for me, I don’t get there in time to see Big Strong Brute and as the actual times have been changed from those advertised I also manage to miss the start of Little Scout. The band say that they haven’t played for six months but I think I probably saw them way to often in the period when they had a heavy schedule of gigs (including supporting Belle & Sebastian and New Pornographers) and for a while it felt like they were playing every gig I went to. They play a few new songs and there’s no real change in direction, just more of the same. They’re one of those bands that you can’t dislike but there’s nothing that really grabs you. I’m sure I read somewhere that the most insulting word you could use to describe a band was “inoffensive” but ultimately Little Scout are inoffensive. I did laugh a bit when I read Rave’s review of the show which mentioned ‘Librarian chic’; it’s a fairly apt description really.

Starting early, Little Scout also finish early and there’s a really long gap until First Aid Kit, despite all the equipment being set up and very little onstage activity after that. Given this has happened at the last few gigs I’ve been to at The Zoo, I’m not sure if they’ve extended the gap between the main support and the headliner to give them as much time as they can to set up and perfect the sound mix.

For reasons unknown, I decide that for a change I’m going to start of photographing on the other side of the stage from where I normally go. Sometimes I look at my photos, especially those from the The Zoo,which doesn’t have a photo pit, and note that all my photos come from the same side and have the same view. The only thing that changes is the subject.

It’s always busier over the side nearer the window and harder to get any photos from that side if you start on the other side of the stage. It’s also always easier to squeeze back in at the far side near the entrance to backstage if you decide to get some more photos later in the performance. I’ve never been entirely sure why it is like that but would guess that it’s being nearer the windows on that side of the stage is a prime position to watch the show from. Tonight though, having started on the side near the windows, I find for just about the first time ever that it’s also really busy on the other side of the stage and there’s no way to squeeze in and take photos. It hasn’t really helped having Johanna and Klara positioned so far to each side of the stage as it really limits the angles that you can see them from. As there’s no joy from the side of the stage I do what I did for Real Estate earlier in the week and run around, down the back steps, up the front steps and perch as far back as I can without falling down the steps to take a few shots. Although it gives you a completely different vantage point, it’s not ideal as you get too much ‘microphone face’ from this angle.

There’s another pretty good crowd in tonight, more than were here for Real Estate on Tuesday and again so much bigger than were here for the oh-so-good Wild Flag the previous Sunday. Whereas on Tuesday I felt in a minority for not having a beard, tonight I feel like I’m one of the few here that’s not a lesbian. It’s like seeing Tegan & Sara way back in 2003 in a small club in London all over again and wondering why I was one of the very few males in the crowd. Maybe their core-fanbase explains the large crowd here to see them tonight.

First Aid Kit are ok but not very exciting. Again, ‘inoffensive’ would be a suitable description. Both Johanna and Klara sing sweetly enough, both individually and especially when harmonising but the songs are nothing to write home about; I’m sure there are plenty of better female singer-songwriters in Brisbane who are more accomplished than the duo when it comes to songwriting. It’s interesting to have read a few street press interviews and reviews (mainly of their Golden Plains performance) in the lead up to this show and noticing that they all cover similar ground, in mentioning young Swedish females playing a Americana. It leaves me questioning whether it’s all a bit of a gimmick really and that it’s their main selling point.

The band do the obligatory “today we had our photo taken with a koala” story but it wouldn’t be a Brisbane show without it, would it?

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