The Boat People + Drugs in Vegas + Machine Translations – The Workers Club, Melbourne (20.07.10)


Brisbane’s finest purveyors of indie pop, The Boat
, graced the Worker’s Club with one of the final shows on their Dear
album launch tour. First on the billing were local act Drugs In Vegas.
Formed in their final year of high school, Drugs In Vegas have already amassed
quite the fan base through relentless gigging and EP releases. They play a mix
of shoe-gaze and indie rock that has an epic, sweeping feel to it. Vocalist Michael
McKay gave his all to their performance, which was patchy at times due to some
bad mixing that had the vocals completely washed out by the keyboards. Their
set was short and sweet, with the band trying out some new material as well as
a few older numbers that had their fans in the audience very excited. Drugs in
Vegas were great at building up the tension with their songs featuring many
crescendo moments that were well executed live. If you haven’t seen these guys
before than keep an eye on the gig guides for upcoming shows. Their addition to
the line-up was a pleasant surprise, and their set was a promising effort from
a band that is sure to grow better with time.

Machine Translations is the brain child of J. Walker,
one of Australia’s criminally underrated talents. He’s been playing under this
guise for the past 6 years, and tonight the band consisted of two drum kits,
and James O’Brien and Robin Waters from the Boaties on bass and keys
respectively. The music was a delicately layered affair, which was mostly
instrumental due to Walker suffering from a cold. The band did well to create a
brooding atmosphere through the instrumentals and the set varied with a number
of mellow tunes scattered amongst some funky bass lines and clever art rock.
The musicianship of the band was amazing, with Walker’s decadent, thoughtful
arrangements being beautifully performed.


The Boat People began their set by artfully decorating
the mic stands with pairs of sneakers to match the Dear Darkly album art and
proceeded to launch straight into the music, opening with “Under the Ocean”. The
boys never disappoint live, and played a lively set, with the band clearly
loving being onstage, which was evidenced by their energetic dancing. They
showcased most of the tunes from the new record, with the live versions
sounding a lot better than the studio recordings. Highlights of the set
included cracking renditions of “Antidote”, “Echostick Guitars”, “You Are Adored” and Charles breaking into the running man during the intro of “Awkward, Orchid,
Orchard”. The Boat People do indie pop very well, and are a fantastic live act.
If you missed them on the Dear Darkly launch, then be sure to catch them as
they tour the nationwith The Bedroom Philosopher this month.

Header Photo: Romanie Harper