West Thebarton – the ‘Tops’ tour

The Triffid – Brisbane – 21 June 2019

Ray, lead singer of West Thebarton at the Triffid 21 June 2019
Ray – West Thebarton – The Triffid – photo Bec Harbour

If you are not from Adelaide, you might not realise that you pronounce the second half of West Thebarton’s name as theb-arton not thee-barton. Formerly known as West Thebarton Brothel Party, they recently dropped the extra baggage and became a band to see live.

There are things that can make or break a show for a photographer and 2 of the biggest happened at West Thebarton’s stop at The Triffid, bad lighting and an unruly crowd. In between the venue getting plunged into darkness then bathed in all of the lights and being clocked in the back of the head by a punter we do what we can.

The evening kicked off with Being Jane Lane, one of my favourite local bands. They always seem to be having such a good time on stage and tonight was no different. They were followed by A. Swayze and the Ghosts. Frontman Andrew Swayze didn’t stay on the stage long, climbing over the barrier into the crowd to a chorus of “do a shoey” (note to fans – they dont do shoeys and they are gross – stop asking for them). I very much regret not going and seeing A. Swayze and the Ghosts at BIGSOUND last year, from all accounts they went off at all venues they played at.

After an amazing set from 2 amazing support bands the anticipation for West Thebarton was building. Touring for their latest single Tops and some great live shows to back them, this was a much anticipated gig for many. And they did not disappoint. They played a ripping set including Moving Out, Set It Straight and of course their new single Tops. Lead singer Ray telling the crowd at one point to “have fun and enjoy yourself, but don’t be dick” when drinks started getting dropped over the D barrier (maybe some people weren’t letting go of the shoey thing?).

West Thebarton were Tops. They have a loyal following and most people were there to have a good time and see some amazing music played. Great gig from a great band, with great choices in support acts.

Gallery – photos by Bec Harbour

Ezekiel Ox – Cheering Bombs from Deckchairs

The Blackbear Lodge Brisbane – June 13, 2019 – words & pictures by Bec Harbour

Most people would be familiar with Ezekiel Ox from fronting funk metal band Mammal (who are on the line up for Dead of Winter festival this year). With a new EP Cheering Bombs from Deckchairs and touring Australia from top to bottom, the prolific Ezekiel Ox brand has a refreshing urgency not often heard in music right now, with the funk element making you want to dance right along to some hard rocking music.

Supporting band Born Lion from Sydney were first up, they were loud on their soundcheck, and they were loud during their set (thank fuck for earplugs). A hardcore influenced punk outfit, that would seem right at home in the 90’s, their blistering set should be taken in by more people (get there early to the gigs people – I can’t say it enough, there is a reason your band have chosen their support act – THEY like them).

Born Lion – The Blackbear Lodge – photo Bec Harbour

Ezekiel Ox and band were up next and tore through the new music from the EP (check out the video for Meglomania in fact you can check out the whole new EP here) as well as some older stuff. Zeke was off the stage early on, interacting with the audience and making the most of the small space.

The band was tight, and the front man was charismatic and fully engaged with the small crowd. I highly recommend getting along and seeing them as they are another step up live from their recordings (Adelaide and Darwin still to go).

Gallery

Philadelphia Grand Jury

24 April 2019 – The Blackbear Lodge – words and pictures by Bec Harbour

In 2009, Hope is for Hopers was a breath of fresh air in Australian music when it was wandering about not really knowing what to do with itself. I’d stopped listening to Triple J and had moved across to sourcing my new music from the internet. Philadelphia Grand Jury, or as their kick drum skin proclaims – the Philly J’s, didn’t sound like like much else out there.

They still don’t.

The Philly J’s are an eclectic mix, their sound has evolved but their high energy has remained the same – they move around the stage more than any other band I have photographed AND this includes drummer Dan W. Sweat who at the end of the set got his kit moved into the crowd.

They were supported by Georgie Nielsen and the Palms and Jaguar Jonze. I missed Georgie Nielsen and the Palms, by all accounts I missed a great set from them (darn Valley parking). Jaguar Jonze played an amazing set – they just keep getting better every time I see them play.

The Philly J’s started their set with No You Don’t. Second song was Ready to Roll.Their set was carefully constructed with crowd favourites sandwiched with the brand new song $10K – and recorded dialogue (I was trying to work out how Simon “Berkfinger” Berckelman was speaking – turns out you record your stage banter prior to the gig). At the end of the set Berckelman and Joel “MC Bad Genius” Beeson swapped guitar and bass duties, then handed them off to members of the audience while they moved the drum kit into the audience.

This was a great gig, they only have one show left to play after this one (Gum Ball Festival in the Hunter Valley). If you missed this gig, you might have missed out on seeing them for a while.

War on Women

The Crowbar Brisbane Tuesday 12 March 2019

War on Women – photo Bec Harbour

First things first – I owe this gig to the tenacity of my friend Scott who contacted War on Women and suggested that if they wanted a photographer for their Brisbane gig that I’d be a good one. War on Women were supporting Converge on their Australian tour after the Download festivals (come on bring this festival to Brisbane!).

War on Women released their album, Capture the Flag in April last year. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this band is another punk band singing angry love songs, they have strong feminist, political and societal commentary to share.

The band tore through a solid set with singer Shawna Potter engaging with her audience – leaping in at one point, quite a few had come primarily to catch War on Women. I was so caught up with the energy of their set that I found myself forgetting to take photos (a hallmark of a great gig for me). The front row of punters were screaming along to everything they played.

Listen to this bands lyrics, they have an important message to share. They also have a perfect platform to deliver this, through music. I hope they do more festivals where people can discover them, engage with their messages and make a change, even just in themselves.