Gang of Youths + Ecca Vandal + The Furrs @ Woolly Mammoth, 16.05.2015

Gang Of Youths @ Woolly Mammoth, Saturday 16 May 2015

I’d had a few listens through of the new Gang of Youths as I knew they had an upcoming show in Brisbane and wanted to check out whether they sounded like a band that would appeal and be worth checking out to photograph.

At the same time as this is going on, there’s a piece on the Guardian’s website (and probably everywhere else) saying that people stop listening to new music when they hit the ripe old age of 33. Although this was a decade ago for me, I’ve never felt the need to stop listening to new music, and, if anything, over the last couple of years I’ve listened to more new music than since when I was a teenager. Obviously some of this is music I’m sent but Spotify (and other streaming services) have made it so easy to listen to new music, that I can’t really see any argument as to why people don’t, or stop even before they reach their mid thirties.

It’s my first time to Woolly Mammoth since it stopped being Woodland and the whole establishment was renovated/taken over. Having lined up out the front, I miss that I needed to collect a wristband from the box office just inside the front door before heading up the steps that are almost hidden behind a curtain. Although there’s been a lot of changes downstairs, the back room doesn’t seem to have changed a great deal, although the sides of the stage have been closed off and there’s a proper backstage area now, rather than just being a space with a curtain separating it from the main room. Depressingly, despite the money that’s been spent on the place, the lighting is no better than it used to be. The lights are set up to be centrally directed at a singer in the middle of the stage, with little else outside this one area. With all the backlighting, it also means shooting into the light from in front of the stage and all the problems you get with lens flare.

Even worse than the lighting, is that it’s a late gig. I didn’t come to see The Twerps last week as I didn’t want to see band playing an 11:20pm to 12:20am set but it looks like this is standard times for Woolly Mammoth, with the advertised times for tonight matching those from last week Saturday. It means that the headline set starts later than the time I left last night’s Jack Ladder show slightly before the end as I was too tired to stay.

The late start time and not wanting to hang around means that I only end up staying for 30 minutes. Much like their album, Gang of Youths’ set is front loaded with the higher tempo songs before too many slow songs kill the mood. The lead singer like something from a Timotei advert when he takes his hair down and continually swishes his hair around. I had also been keen to check out the much hyped Ecca Vandal but find her disappointing after seeing Tkay Maidza recently. She tries too hard with her between song banter trying to whip the crowd up and it’s all a bit “throw your hands up in the air” hip hop cliches. She really reminds me of someone from the murky musical past and it’s only later that I realise that it’s probably Skunk Anansie. I always find it a bit weird when Australian acts start making names for themselves in the press and on the radio and they remind me of less than cool bands from the past (although to be fair, Skunk Anansie were ok).

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