sixfthick @ Woodland, 29-10-10

First published on Collapse Board (05/11/2010).

Sixfthick are the band by which I judge all the other bands in Brisbane. If you’re in a band you should be here, you should be in the front row furiously scribbling notes about how to put on a show. Tonight is their 15th anniversary show and the launch of their new seven-inch single. They’re one of the few bands that does something outside of Brisbane and does it without being played on Triple J. They’ve successfully toured mainland Europe a couple times in recent years off their own backs and have had an ABC-sponsored documentary made about them, with a couple screenings at the upcoming Brisbane International Film Festival. If you’re in a band you could learn an awful lot from Sixfthick.

Sixfthick are the band by which I judge music fans and gig-goers in Brisbane. Entertainment. A set of killer songs. A band that doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase “going through the motions”. They’re the best live band in Brisbane. To paraphrase possibly the best single sentence in a live review I’ve ever read (from Time Off, I think), “There’s something so wrong and yet so compelling about watching a grown man stand on a pool table and try to lick a light-bulb”. That tells you all you need to know about the Sixfthick live experience. There’s no attempted light-bulb licking tonight, just the usual Gentle Ben kicks, flips, forays into the crowd, singing on people’s tables, trying (and failing for once) to smash glasses over his head and at one point snatching a girl’s mobile out of her hands and singing to whoever she was on the phone to for the rest of the song. If you’re a fan of live music you should be here tonight. How could you not be here tonight? If you make it to one Sixfthick show I’ll guarantee it won’t be the last time you’ll want to go and see them play.

Sixfthick are the band by which I judge festival line-ups and festival promoters.  Every time I see them play or photograph them I’m left wondering why they aren’t being booked up to play all the major festivals, and not just the tiny local bands stage, one of the main stages in front of the big crowds. And not just the Brisbane leg of a festival, the whole tour, a big stage, a big crowd in every city. They did play the Queensland leg of Big Day Out this year but on the Lilyworld stage. Sixfthick playing the Lilyword Stage? I mean what the fuck is that all about. And in the meantime Eskimo Joe got to play the main stage.

Sixfthick are the band by which I judge music photographers. If you’re calling yourself a music photographer you’d better have a damn good reason for not being here tonight. Every time I see them my plan is to photograph three or four songs and then relax and watch the show, but every time I just can’t stop taking photos; they are the most photographically addictive band I’ve ever photographed amongst the hundreds of bands I’ve photographed over the years. Who care about pretty boys with beautifully coiffured hair jumping off fold back speakers? This is rock’n’roll at its sweatiest and bloodiest best, in its purest, rawest form. Bands like Sixfthick are the band that music photographers dream about. It’s just a shame they don’t play in better lit venues on a more regular basis.

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