I always felt disappointed (and a bit guilty) that I didn’t go to what at the time might have been Giants Of Science‘s last showÂ at Fat Louie’s in the city back in June 2007.Â At the time I had no idea that it might be the end of the band (with drummer Steve Lynagh heading off to Europe for a couple of years) and was instead at The Troubadour watching The Apartments and Texas Tea.Â NoÂ disrespect, but a show at Fat Louie’s Pool Hall is no way to end your band, especially not oneÂ as good as Giants had been the times I had seen them play since moving to Brisbane in 2005.Â Â But fast-forward to April 2009 and normal service has been restored, with Steve back from Europe and erstwhile guitarist/vocalist Ben Tuite back in the fold (having originally left the band, leaving them as a three-pieceÂ in the months leading up to that Fat Louie’s performance).Â
For a band that have hardly played together (I think I heard they did a secret 1am show at The Troubadour a few weeks before this gig) they are remarkably tight and the sound is just immense (The Troubadour living up to its reputation as having the best sound system in the Valley).Â I only stay down the front photographing forÂ a fewÂ songs, havingÂ claimed my space straight after Hits hadÂ finished playing, as it’s a sell out tonight and very packed,Â although ‘Window Seat’ and ‘The Letter B’ seem toÂ go on for atÂ least 20 minutesÂ between them.Â Even though I’m right at the front, at the end of a front row comprising only of photographers, it’s still not a great position, with Ben Tuite’s microphone stand in the way of getting a clear shot of him and the lighting fall off across the stage from where I’m stood meaning Salter and Tanzie are mainly in the dark.Â I seem to be cursed every time I stick up for The Troubadour lighting and say that it’s not as bad as I make out, as invariably the next time I go there it is as bad as I make it out to be.Â So it’s back down to shutter speeds of 1/30 at times to try and keep the ISO down at something reasonable; a bit hit and miss but I still end up with some ok shots.Â One thing that never changes is the difficulty inÂ getting good photos ofÂ Ben Salter; similar to Ed Kuepper he hardly ever opens his eyes.Â Still, it’s really good to have the band back and in such fine fettle andÂ I’m looking forward to album No. 3, which should be out next year sometime.
Hits are the main support tonight.Â I remember seeing them a couple of years ago and enjoying them but tonight they are disappointing (and I have since heard from other peopleÂ that it wasn’t one of their better shows).Â They start well for maybe the first 3 songs but then there is a long mid-set lull before they pick itÂ upÂ again in the last song.Â The mainÂ issue is Evil Dick’s vocals,Â which come in somewhere between John Lydon and Shaun Ryder; it works for a few songs but after that there doesn’t seem to be much variety in delivery or tone.Â However, they are undeniably a good band to photograph (Troubadour lighting not withstanding), with Evil Dick resplendent in his finest pimp suit, and it’s always a delight to photograph Tamara, who is a music photographers dream and whoÂ you could happily take photos ofÂ all night whilst not even thinking about turning your camera away to focus on anyone else inÂ the band.Â Â Â Â Â
No Anchor open the evening and it’s a delight to finally get to see them; we seem have missed each other like ships in the night for far too long. It’sÂ aÂ brutal noise and even after years of aural abuse it only takes oneÂ song for my ears to start ringing.Â Under the layers of noise there’s melody and there’s also an infectious stoner-rock groove going on, shades ofÂ KyussÂ in some places, shades of Sunn O))) in others. It may have taken too long for our paths to cross but it is definitely worth the wait.
Some more photos on Flickr.