Wednesday, 24 May 2006

Brian Jonestown Massacre @ ABC

If you’ve seen the film Dig! you’ll know how unpredictable The Brian Jonestown Massacre can be. This is why they perhaps surprised me when I went to see them at the ABC last night.

Playing for 2 hours they were a tight, rocking band. Although they did spend time between songs arguing about what to play next they were nothing less than terrific all throughout.

With six people on stage they had a big sound that really filled the room. I say six people on stage but Joel Gion is more like a mascot than a band member. He shook tambourines, occasional maracas and sang backing vocals (“woo”) on one song. In the film he’s shown leaving the band and he went on to set up his own group, The Dilettanetes. I can’t find anything on why or when he returned but I’m sure the bigger tour on the back of the movie must have had something to do with it.

He took centre stage as singer/guitarist Anton Newcombe preferred to stand off to the left. A slightly odd set up, but most people were entertained by Joel’s girlish tambourine playing. “Stop mincing about,” one guy shouted amid the cheers that greeted his entrance.

Although I only knew a few of their songs I really enjoyed the show. I would assume the majority of the people there went on the back of Dig!, really that’s why we were there too. I think originally they had been booked to play the much smaller ABC2 but they just about filled the 1250 capacity main room.

It’s a long time since I’ve seen a fight at a concert, but last night provided your classic down the front ruck. Though I think it was mainly due to two siezeable bouncers hauling a guy out of the crowd.

Here’s a feature on Gion.

The photographs below aren’t that great, the lighting in the venue didn’t really aid my camera.

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