Manly Fisho's has been around since the 60's and has been hosting live bands since then. The venue is being closed down and it seems that The Break gig may be the farewell gig. This is fitting, considering the band's first official gig was at the Fisho's. They also returned last year supporting the Hoodoo Gurus.
It's a timely move to close down the venue. Standing on the dance floor I glanced up to see a large section of the ceiling sagging down towards my head, complete with dangling cables. I kept away from that spot for the rest of the night, just in case. Luckily the roof held up, despite the volume.
Australia's surf rock supergroup, The Break, consist of Jim Moginie, Martin Rotsey & Rob Hirst from Midnight Oil and Brian Ritchie, the bass player from the Violent Femmes.
This gig will be their last before a hiatus of around six months for time off and to record a new album. The boys have been all over Australia at festivals and in support of the Gurus, so it's probably a good time for them to have a rest.
The Break has been greatly influenced by surf rock groups of the 60's, including The Ventures, The Tornados and, Australian band, The Atlantics. The Atlantics own guitarist, Martin Cilia, was invited along to support. He took to the stage with his bass player & drummer. Playing many of his own compositions, both from The Atlantics and his own solo efforts, as well as Hawaii 5-O and The Atlantics no.1 hit, Bombora. The crowd were wildly enthusiastic, with many of them up and dancing. It was a fitting introduction to The Break.
The Break set themselves up in a line, with the drums out the front as much as any other instrument. It creates a sense of equality on stage. It was an interesting dynamic on the tiny Fisho's stage, as there as nowhere for anyone to move. However, the boys still managed to incest a lot of life into the music. Ritchie squeezed his way over to Rotsey's little corner of the stage at one point, leading to an interesting dance of avoiding hitting each other and the drum kit with the necks of the instruments (not that you can move that kit, Hirst gaffa tapes it down, and believe me, it needs to be). They played songs form their album "Church of the Open Sky" and covers including Miserlou. Moginie's quirky keyboard and theramin being a highlight.
It will be interesting to see what The Break come up with for their next album. They are building up a dedicated fan base which will be eager to see them again as soon as they are back on the road.