Today’s gig is billed as a farewell show, I Heart Hiroshima‘s last before drummer Susie heads to Berlin, with the band playing both of their albums in full over two separate sets. It’s a Sunday afternoon all-ages show at The Powerhouse, and unlike the venue’s more typical Sunday shows, this time you’ve got to pay to get in, with a black curtain surrounding the Turbine Hall stage and wrist bands being checked at the bottom of the stairs.
It’s a brave move for a band with only two albums to their name to play them both in full, but it highlights a strong catalogue of songs, and the change between the first and second albums, with the songs on latest album ‘The Rip‘ , being more complex and showing the band’s maturity when it comes to songwriting. If there is one weakness (and to me there is) it’s that the overall sound and the make-up of the songs doesn’t really change; the guitar sounds are untreated and don’t really vary in sound from song-to-song, and the male/female call-and-response vovals are ever present, although I guess ultimately that’s the IHH sound. Each song more than stands up on their own, it’s just when almost their whole back catalogue is played that it really becomes noticeable.
Whether today’s farewell show is just a temporary hiatus or something more permanent depends on who you talk to in Brisbane. It would be a shame if this were to be the end; it would be intersting where album No.3 takes them. But if it is to be the end then it’s been a few fun years and they will be missed.
From a photographic point of view they’ve thrilled and frustrated in almost equal measures over the years; Susie is a photographer’s dream, Matthew and Cameron are less so, a lot less. Today I only photograph the first five or songs in the first set, choosing to sit back, relax and enjoy the band. My decision is greatly helped by a girl who spills her drink all over my camera bag whilst I’m photographing the first few songs; why, if someone spills a drink over your bag, does it always have to be on the padded side, so that it soaks up all the liquid, instead of the other side where it’s designed to be vaguely waterproof. Even by the end of the show it is still soaked through, and as I had cycled to the venue it also ends up soaking through into my T-shirt on the ride back. And of course the following day I go to work with a bag that very unsubtely reaks of stale beer, hoping that no one thinks I’m a tramp…
A few more photos on Flickr.