The Smith Street Band + The Grates + Deafcult @ Crowbar , 22.07.2015

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The advert for this show was a strange bill.  Deafcult were the only band I’d heard of and although I wanted to get around to finally seeing them, it was a bit pricey, at $20, for a couple of bands I’d never heard of.  Googling the bands showed me that one of them was the Smith Street Band guitarist so I just assumed it was a side-project rather than the secret SITG warm-up show the night ends up being.  They don’t keep it much of a secret though, announcing the real line-up earlier in the week, meaning that with no in advance tickets available, the line for the door tickets stretches all the way down Brunswick Street to the corner with Wickham Street, and the easy sell-out of the venue.  I wonder how many they would have got if they hadn’t have disclosed the real names.

The Deafcult EP sounds magnificent and although it was always going to be a tall ask, disappointingly they come nowhere near reaching the heights of their recorded songs in the flesh.  The vocals are non-existence through the sound system, and although I can see lyrics being sung, for what it’s worth, they might not have bothered and just played an instrumental set.  Saying that, everything has to be taken into consideration with the band playing Crowbar and its poor acoustics.

I haven’t seen The Grates for ages.  Always fun to see them even though I haven’t actually got around to hearing their latest album.  I think they peaked on their second album though; thiings were never the same after Alannah left and tonight sees another line-up change from the last time I saw them.  The photos would have possibly been better if the show had been at a venue with a larger stage, rather than one where you’re crammed against the speaker in the corner, unable to move anywhere else to get any photos.

It’s also finally the first time at getting to see The Smith Street Band.  Although I’ve heard and read lots about their live shows, I’ve always managed to miss them, most typically by being out of Brisbane when they’ve played in recent times.  Despite everything being against them by seeing them at Crowbar, they don’t really do themselves any favours in my book by essentially sounding like a celtic punk kinda band.  The crowd love’em though, and maybe love them just slightly too much.  After not getting much in the way of anywhere near decent photos and having had enough of being crushed into the barrier/speaker, I decide I have enough and call it a night.

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