Fuck Buttons + Dead Meadow + Afrirampo @ The Powerhouse

Brisbane not being Sydney or Melbourne (or at least not Mt Buller) means we are deprived of the full ATP line-up, making do with a week of selected highlights; Harmonia, Michael Gira, and Psarandonis playing separate gigs in the Powerhouse’s Visy Theatre, the main one-day, one-stage festival, with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Saints, Spiritualized, Robert Forster, The Necks and James Blood Ulmer, and a closing night line-up of Fuck Buttons, Dead Meadow and Afrirampo in the Powerhouse’s main theatre space. 

Afrirampo have already started by the time I get there and on first appearance seem a bit lacklustre when compared to their outstanding Mt Buller gig.  However, it only takes a few songs for them to find their feet and the night ends up as the same jubilant experience that they had produced at Mt Buller, culminating with Oni and Pika being paraded triumphantly around the venue, with Everett True carrying Oni on his shoulders and Damon from Secret Birds carrying Pika.  Hugely fun and entertaining, but whilst I know that I’d be there in a minute if Afrirampo were playing  tonight, I’m still not sure if I would actually buy one of their albums to listen to in the comfort of my own home.

Dead Meadow’s set at Mt Buller felt as if it was a bit too early in the day for them and for us; stoner/psychedelic rock just doesn’t work on an outside stage at lunchtime on a nice sunny day.  However, the dark confines of the Powerhouse on a Friday night are a much more fitting time and place to experience them and it all makes perfect sense, even though the darkness makes photographing them problematic.  It’s light on much in the way of any audience engagement but heavy on the music, which is probably as it should be.

By the time Fuck Buttons take to the stage the room has cleared considerably; Brisbane obviously craves its stoner rock more than its experimental/noise/post-rock.  Having now seen a full Fuck Buttons show to go with a few songs at ATP Mt Buller, the jury is still out on them  They are at their best when the songs have some sort of direction and purpose, where they build up into something with a definitive structure, even if their best bits are reminiscent of the soundtrack to Wipeout on the Playstation in the mid-1990s.  But too many of the songs, especially those towards the start of their set, just seem to lack any purpose and come over more like a primal scream therapy session played back over a random array of beeps and beats and, as such, you can’t help but think that there’s something of the emperor’s new clothes about them.

A few more photos on flickr.

Fuck Buttons

Dead Meadow

Afrirampo

2 Responses to “Fuck Buttons + Dead Meadow + Afrirampo @ The Powerhouse”

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  2. […] All Tomorrow’s Parties – Brisbane Powerhouse: Fuck Buttons, Dead Meadow & Afrirampo […]

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