The Vasco Era + I Am Giant + Wons Phreely – Northcote Social Club (25.11.10)


While working the afternoon shift is great as you are able to sleep in everyday, finishing work late in the evening seriously impinges on one’s pub going time. Fortunately I arrived at the band room early enough to catch the end of
I Am Giant’s
set, which was, in a word, massive. I’m not quite sure how this four piece from London ended up at the bottom of the billing, as their music is ferocious, their live show was intense and their front man Ed Martin has all the right moves – including personally introducing himself to every person in the band room at the end of their show. Their sound was amazing live and if you’re a fan of bands like Sugar Army and Karnivool than be sure to check out I Am Giant when they’re back in Australia for the Sydney Big Day Out in 2011. 

Next up was
Wons Phreely and his band, all of whom have a very dashing, debonair appearance. Wons began the set by throwing lollies to the audience before launching into his song “Rules of Nature” which he states was ‘about boys meeting girls and getting horizontal’. For those unfamiliar with the work of Wons Phreely, his music is unadulterated pop bliss with clever lyrics and catchy riffs, that was very fun to witness live. Wons did his best to win over the large crowd of Vasco Era fans with lollies and streamers and amusing anecdotes between songs. Highlights included cracking renditions of “D.I.S.C.O”, “The World Has A Bank Account” and “Tonight” before ending their short and sweet set with “Wish Me Luck”. Wons Phreely has an old world charm and engaging stage presence that made for a very enjoyable live set. Come back to Melbourne soon. 

I haven’t seen
The Vasco Era since I stumbled through their set at Falls Festival 2004 in Marion Bay, and was rather curious to know what they‘re sounding like these days. They seem to have amassed quite the fan base since then as the band room was packed to capacity by the time they took to the stage to showcase some of the tunes from their second LP
Lucille. I can see the appeal of The Vasco Era and their loud sweaty rawk which is raucous and fun. They had the crowd hanging on their every word as they belted out track after track of generic pub rock, which included a painful cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child” that saw the band tear a classic to shreds. 

The Vasco Era remind me a lot of British India in the sense that I wouldn’t buy their merchandise. I find their musicianship and song writing ability average and their singer Sid O’Neil has a voice that for me, grates like nails on a chalk board. However live they have the ability to whip a crowd up into a frenzy with their youthful vigour and enthusiasm that is somewhat endearing. Suffice it to say, the band still haven’t lost their ‘country boy’ personas that had the ladies swooning and the men raising their beers in the air as they partied on to some good old fashioned Aussie rock. It was a fun set that left the fans begging for more as they piled out of the band room with big smiles on their faces. As a band I guess you can’t ask for a better response from your listener’s than that.