Thursday, June 2, 2011

Seedy Jeezus @ The Grace Darling

Friendly Yen

The Grace Darling
Collingwood, Melbourne.
Sunday 29th May, 2011.

I was over indulging in Mother’s Milk. Lapping it up and splashing about in its sheer energy, driving into Collingwood to the mayhem that is the (earlier) Red Hot Chili Peppers. The mix is an amazing use of stereo. That blend of punk rock and funk and leading us to a promised new land, a land of John Frusciante’s first album with the band. Even 4WD wankers cutting in couldn't bring down the funk cause even Stevie know’s nobody gonna bring you down!

I walked up the stairs to the band room and ordered a drink. As the barman sat it down toward the bar, with his free hand he smoothly slid a coaster under it. I was outta my hipster league up here. It was cool, perhaps just a little too much. Traditional clipper ship artwork adorned the wall next to the bar. The stage sat nestled in the opposite corner. A stair well led down past wine bottles sitting on a ledge with melting candles hanging out like the ‘in’ crowd at a high school dance, in a dark and smokey corner. The pool table in the other room peered through a hole renovated out of the wall, an ornate chesterfield leather lounge sat with its back to the window, uninterested in those not amongst its company.

The second band were about to begin. Friendly Yen started in a Motley Crüe-esque Kickstart My Heart down-tuning roar. Then it threw me. I thought they were going to rock it out but a reggae beat and strum followed with some chilled high end smooth vocals. The guitar kicked it up a notch and started to rock it out a little more. Stoked I listened to the Chili Peppers on the way in. This lead into a funk wah solo with a rockin attitude. The first song got me reeled in. Not what I expected, not what I would usually go out to see but they were pretty good muso’s. The vocalist had a great voice that was perhaps a little too Australian Idol for my usual liking but I really dug it. They had a great vibe, or it could’ve just been the Pies scarf draped over the bass amp!

There is always one in every crowd… you know like when I saw Mammoth Mammoth headline at Yah Yah’s last November and there was that crazy drunk dude running around more than lead singer Mikey (I know…impossibility we thought!). He was doing some sort of crazy arse aerobics off a milk crate… there is always one at every gig. This night at The Grace Darling was no different and the guy must have thought to himself… “Hey, every gig needs a Peter Garrett”.

I ended up chatting to friends and missed a lot of the Friendly Yen set but did catch this beautiful line… “We just did our new clip in Sweden, pity we couldn't be there for it.” Classic.

Check out Friendly Yen. Myspace // Facebook.

Seedy Jeezus are a band that straight away seems like their punching below their weight. Even as you watch them set up on the corner stage, coloured reflections from the mirror ball above their heads slowly rotating to the Morello riffage of Audioslave, you know they've got more going on than a chilled Sunday night gig at the charming Grace Darling. The venue is a beautiful place for a drink, chatting with mates or to listen to Amaya Laucirica melt your heart, but Seedy belong on a greater stage with probably a little more attitude.

It was perfect timing as Lex plugged in his guitar lead as it crackled to Cornell's throaty yeaaaaah! Lex's strat, violated way too much beyond it's years looks like a prize fighter that just keeps on giving. It may look beaten and bruised, nose broken too many times and that swollen brow just wont ever go down but if you meet it back stage in the darkness, you know who’s gonna come out on top.

“Were going to jam on a song to get our levels right...” Fuckin smooth jamming...

They kicked into the first song ‘Sun In My Car’, an at times frenzied guitar lovechild of Hendrix and Ian MacKaye. I wish I had captured this on film. There were a few highlights of the night, like Mr Frumpy and Smokin Billy Sundae, but this first song as an intro just set up their set perfectly. These guys play themselves down, like most great bands I guess and when you talk to them are very modest. And believe me, they know their shit… when it comes to playing and bands in general. Lex will tell you that Mark is deaf and can’t hear anything up there behind his kit, Mark will tell you as he couldn’t hear anything he actually discovered he was lost several times but managed to sneak back into it and you can always talk to Chris about how awesome QOTSA is if you’d like, but talk themselves up, never. There’s really no need, take that first step if you haven’t and experience them live.

They are an amazing band and on Myspace have written Psychedelic / Rock as their genre, they play to so many other sounds as well. Throw some chaotic punk, three pinches of funk, maybe a teaspoon of surf guitar in 'Go Go Go', even some Stoner in ‘Pick Up’ and a hell a lot of fuckin awesome and you’ve got Seedy Jeezus.

It’s true… great instruments don’t necessarily make great musicians. One’s of Mark’s symbol’s has a bigger crack than a Broady plumber bent over in a ditch, gives it a nice hi-hat crash FARK kind of sound… But it goes to prove that you can give killer muso’s shit instruments and they’ll knock you on your arse!

I love these guys as a band and as fellow appreciators of fine music. Might I add they’re also bloody hilarious!

As I drove home and continued the Peppers mayhem, I wondered if I’d drive past a pink Hummer, now personified in Melbourne rock legend as the beast that drives Seedy Jeezus from gig to gig. Apparently Lex has been known to be spotted lounging in the spa with inflatable flamingo’s. Ahhh, the life of a rock star.

Seedy Jeezus: Myspace // Facebook.

Up coming Seedy gigs:
Fri 3rd June - Yah Yah’s. Collingwood.
Thurs 9th June - Pony. Melbourne.
Sat 11th June - The Barwon Club. Geelong.
Thurs 23rd June - The Old Bar. Fitzroy.
Fri 24th June - The Rock Bar, Melbourne.
Fri 24th June - The Blue Tile Lounge. Collingwood.
(One of these dates is wrong... will amend when I find out!)
Fri 8th July - Public Bar. North Melbourne.
(this one's with the awesome Mighty Elk & My Left Boot!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey man.... both gigs on the 24th are correct. Seedy Jeezus are playing 2 gigs that night. Double Seedy Friday.