Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders + Alex Cameron @ The Brightside, 15.05.2015

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There are two things you learn in each and every Jack Ladder review. The first is that his real name is Tim Rogers, while the second is a line or two that compares his voice to Nick Cave. It’s strange because listening to the new album I’m reminded far more of David Sylvian, and even Brian Ferry, than I am of Nick Cave. It’s interesting, whether by curated choice or by coincidence, that the last song played before the band start playing is Japan’s ‘Ghosts’.

Earlier in the evening, Alex Cameron provides an excellent and complementary choice of support act, at least until he closes with a cheesy karaoke version of ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Old Oak Tree’. His album is available for free download should you want to check it out.

Brightside’s reputation for terrible lighting continues and means very low shutter speeds. The Alex Cameron photos end up being much better than the Jack Ladder photos as there’s more room at the front to move around. Seeing to Jack Ladder is as much about getting to see Kirin J Callinan play guitar as it is to see the the band leader but I fail to get any decent photos of him. The Brightside is a lot busier than I had expected, even though it’s a Friday night, and is mostly full for the headline act.

I had really wanted to buy album a copy of the new Jack Ladder album on vinyl but it’s $40 at the merch stand. Although I guess this is becoming the standard price for vinyl in Australia, it’s crazy that it’s cheaper to buy from US (less than US$20 from Amazon) and or from the UK (about $25 from Amazon, despite being sold over there as an import album). Obviously adding the Postage & Packaging then makes them more expensive than buying in Australia but don’t labels/bands get cheaper deals for bulk shipping?

I continue to be utterly confused by current vinyl pricing. There’s plenty of albums selling for around the $25 mark in the shops but also plenty selling for twice that, even when they’re just single albums and you’re not paying twice the amount (or more) to actually get a double album worth of vinyl. In recent trips to the shops, I’ve seen that Gang of Youths album retailing for $57 and that new Blur album, The Magic Whip, going for $69. Even if I really liked Blur, I don’t think I would be paying almost $70 for their new album, however good it might be, and especially not when the alternatives are $20 for the CD or nothing if I chose to listen to it on a streaming service. (Since drafting this, I’ve also seen The 1975’s new album retailing for $85 and the new Shadow Puppets at an obscene $105 (although this is for some limited version of the album that’s not actually that special).

The upshot of all this is that I think I’m going to have to put together a list of Australian albums I want to own on vinyl and buy them in the UK. Then they’ll just have to go with the rest of my record collection until some point in time when we’re reunited.

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