Flipper + Sixfthick + Vaginabillies @ The Step Inn

I guess I had an inkling of what a Flipper show might be like to attend and tonight I get pretty much what I expected; you can get a sense just from listening to their music without having to even read a single live review.  It’s a bitter, angry, alienated, disinterested, discordant experience and tonight Bruce Loose struts the stage with an obvious air of a man who wishes he was anywhere else but on a stage in Brisbane playing to a the small crowd that’s assembled in front of him and who can’t really be bothered to even pretend otherwise.  The loss of his voice a few songs in results in some sort of bizarre karaoke/Stars In Their Eyes show, with lead vocals taken by various members of the crowd, and it could almost be seen as an improvement.  However, although watching Trash Video‘s Stumpy sing ‘Ha Ha Ha‘ is like watching a man fulfill his life-long dream, with a technical improvement in the vocals and the obvious increase in passion, it’s almost as if you need that disinterest and disengagement for the full Flipper effect. 

It must be infectious though, the band obviously bring out the worst in people, with sufficient dissonance causing a post-punk Rite of Spring-type epiphany and tonight is the most obnoxious crowd I’ve been in for a good while, something made all the more depressing by the fact that they’re all old enough to know better.  There’s definitely hate in the air tonight.  Squeezing in at the side of the stage I find my vantage point quickly taken away from me by a guy who looks like he might be an accountant during the hours of 9 and 5 but tonight is so drunk that he can hardly stand up and keeps falling back into me.  What makes it even worse is that despite the fact he’s taken my place against the stage he’s not even paying much attention, talking to a girl behind him and not even looking at the band.  It becomes ever temping to make use of the large bit of metal and glass that I’m holding in my hand in a non-photographic way as I tire of him falling backwards into me as I’m trying to take some photos but I endure it for a couple of songs and then move out to the back of the room.  The view from the back isn’t any prettier, with the aggression in the crowd even more noticeable.  At one point I see a couple of guys being propelled to towards the back of the room, their arms entwined around each other as they brawl.  Luckily I see them coming and move out the way, unlike the girl stood next to me who takes the full force of their momentum and gets knocked to the floor as they continue out the door oblivious to the impact of their actions.

It’s another late starting Thursday night gig, with Flipper not starting until after 11pm, so by midnight I know I’ve seen all I need to see; for better or worse, the full Flipper experience.

More photos on Flickr.




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