Live Review: The Bats + Witch Hats + Guy & Marcus Blackman – East Brunswick Club (14.10.11)

This night was a night for the clock. Considering I ordered dinner at 8:00pm, it was a bit of a disaster to not see anything at my table after half an hour waiting. And I waited some more. In the end, I would like to thank the East Brunswick Club kitchen for making me miss Guy & Marcus Blackman, because it seems you need patience as well as an ID to get service there. I suppose they impose a very airport check-in like policy when it comes to their food: you must arrive an hour prior to expecting it. It wasn’t too bad a meal I have to say, but if it got out to me quicker, I wouldn’t be utilising this paragraph of this review to chastise their kitchen, I’d be reviewing a band instead. I’ll keep this paradoxical rule in mind next time.

Once that got all chowed down, I sauntered into a nearly empty band room, about 10 minutes prior to when Witch Hats were to play. I was pretty disappointed in seeing such a low turnout at 9:40pm. I underestimated the wave of the audience though – by 9:55 Witch Hats was performing to a decent swell of people. I was pretty sure that they had been much more wilder once upon a time, and while the songs were great, there was something in the set where the band weren’t as grunt filled as I expected them to be. That’s probably my issue than anything – never trust a band by what others say. The swirling slightly pscyh-filled ‘Hear Martin’ from the latest album was a particular highlight in the set though.

When The Bats play a set, they’re not seeing from the stage a bunch of heads in a dark pub with stage lights. Instead, they seem like they are playing on the top of a mezzanine out looking onto Bronte Beach while the waves casually roll in. The breezy nature of pop songs in The East Brunswick Club overswept in a haze of 2 and a half minute pieces – and everyone was jaunting along with it. A nice little charm about the band is their ability to just make their old and new songs fit seamlessly. New beautiful pockets of floating noise like ‘Simpletons’ just sounded as awesome as the older casual sounds of ‘Before The Day’. It’s no wonder that despite them having the irregular playing schedules, and numerous side projects over time, this dreamy band have never sounded better.


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