Texas Tea + Shifting Sands + Johnny & The Fembots @ Black Bear Lodge, 09.06.2013


It’s been a long while since I’ve seen Black Bear Lodge (the old Troubadour) this busy.  It’s Texas Tea last show until 2014, with the band heading off for a European tour and then Kate heading off to Sweden for the year, which hopefully brought in a fair number of people.  It’s also the Sunday night before the Queen’s Birthday public holiday, with the long weekend and the extra chance for a night out undoubtedly helping to add to the crowd.  In the end it’s a sell out, just like old times.

Even though they’re probably my most seen Brisbane band, it feels like ages since I last saw them.  A check of my previous posts tells me that it has been a while as the last time was all the way back at the end of last October.  Their set starts of strongly but gets bogged down by a run of too many slow songs in the middle, before the tempo picks up again.  The highlight of the night is the first single from their most recent album, ‘I Don’t Write No Sad Songs’, effortlessly seguing into a cover of The Scientists’ ‘Swampland‘ before seamlessly returning to the original song. The band’s usual final encore of Motorhead’s ‘R.A.M.O.N.E.S.‘ is as adorable as ever and runs a close second behind the Texas Tea/Scientists mash-up.

As the place is packed and it’s hard to photograph, I just make the most of the situation and my standing position by occupying a spot and using a long lens.  The only time I move during the night is during Shifting Sands when someone tall stands at the front and I can’t see much.

It’s my first time seeing both support acts and while both are enjoyable, neither blow me away.

Shifting Sands are a little bit Mark Lanegan, a little bit Nick Cave.  I can’t get used to Geoff Corbett sat down and singing slow songs, they’re definitely no Sixfthick.

Johnny & The Fembots are another 60s influenced, Brisbane (primarily) girl band. The last time I saw Texas Tea they had The Madisons supporting them, who mined a similar vein but who were fantastic.  They seem to have dropped off the radar this year, which is a real shame.  A few years back every other band in Brisbane was an instrumental surf band, now they’re all early 60s classic girlpop.  It begs the question whether you can have too much of a good thing?

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