Up until tonight I’d never been to The Hangar, although had been close a few weeks ago. When I say close I actually mean having dinner in the Lebanese restaurant across the road before deciding that I was too exhausted and getting a taxi back for a more relaxing Saturday night in front of the TV. But tonight it’s Mick Turner playing with Jeffrey Wegener so I’m not going to miss it, even though it’s a Wednesday evening and due to the early start I’ve had to come almost straight from work.
And it’s a really nice space and makes me wish I’d been before. The band room is a nice size; the layout is basic and functional but most importantly the sound is excellent. The room next door to the band has a huge advantage over almost every other venue in Brisbane in that it has plenty of sofas and seats meaning you can sit and chat but not to the detriment of the bands playing or to the annoyance of people who are there wanting to watch the band. It is noticeable that the levels of chat are much lower here tonight when the bands are playing that if they had played somewhere like The Troubadour. In fact it’s so quiet at times that during quiet songs played tonight, the silence is shattered by the noise made from people dropping their bottle tops into the bin. The outside bit is very relaxed; it’s not like standing outside a venue in the Valley and having to endure the masses. And it’s BYO, another huge advantage it has over anywhere in the Valley. The main downside is that the lighting is really terrible. As it was so dark, as everyone sits down on the floor, Troubadour-style and as I’d only brought a 28-70mm lens with me, I only took a few wide shots for posterity. I did laugh quietly to myself at the girl stood in front of me using a kit lens and trying to get something at f5 and 1/6 second. Good luck with that (although to be honest think I did take a few photos at 1/6 just to see if I could and took most of what i took around 1/20).
Listening to and seeing the Dirty Three play live, it’s very easy to miss Mick Turner’s contribution. Whereas Warren Ellis provides the main focal point and Jim White mesmerises you with the art of drumming, Turner is a very low-key presence. You can hear that he’s there, you can see him, but it’s very understated, with his guitar work often providing a solid base for Ellis’s extrovert extravagances and White’s looseness. When he’s the main focal point, as he is tonight, and is he is on the Tren Brothers albums you get a much greater appreciation of what he brings to the Dirty Three. He’s still maintains the low-key presence on stage, at one point even playing to the wall that he’s stood right next to, but with his guitar playing to the fore. He makes extended use of a loop pedal, but whereas most guitarists use it to provide simple counterpoint and harmony, here it’s used to provide much more textured layers of sound that Turner then uses to accompany himself.
In addition to the music, tonight also has an extra draw card in that he’s showing some of his art work and I buy a print that I’ve had my eye on all night after the show. It doesn’t make up for missing out on buying one of his original paintings at the exhibition he had at Ten Years of ATP last year but it will have to do in the meantime until hopefully the gap in my very small art collection can be rectified some other time.
Opals & Pooles