A review from the down under gig with The Men

There is a review in today’s Inpress magazine (26 Januari 2011).

Here’s a link http://streetpress.com.au/online_mags/IN/IN_1158/ it’s on page 47

Pop Goes The Curfew – feat The Men, Gun Street Girls, Pony Face

While Missy Higgins is trying to save the Kimberley on the Toorak side of town, in St Kilda, Dave Stevenson (sic) and his Pure Pop Records faithful are saving independent music.  Tonight showcases the artists who continue to rock the rear courtyard of the Barkly Street store, albeit at the Prince Bandroom.  Aptly titled Pop Goes The Curfew, it ensures no 8pm sound restriction.  It also provides Sweden’s The Men with their first Australian show.

The lineup is littered with Pure Pop regulars.  Hugh Gurney (Skybombers), Heath Brady and Alex Raunjak (Dirt River Radio), Jeff May, Charles Jenkins and Tim Rogers all salute the icnic store with well received ballads.  Georgia Fields lends a female voice with Snakes and Ladders, while Anyone For Tennis and Ryan Coffey do the gags.

Pony Face stand out with a sound resembling early ’90s rock.  The concoct favourable blends of searching guitars that waver steadily and peak to morph with earthly, innocent vocals, solid bass and snappy drums.  With their 2010 album Stars Are  Bright to borrow from, the three piece use a range of electronic effects to convey a controlled, psychedelic sound that grooves, cruises, rocksand haunts.  Standouts include One Or Another, Stars Are Bright, Hammer and Sheelong.

Dave Larkin just wants to play rock ‘n’ roll!  His Gun Street Girls shake the room with Little Richard’s Long Tall Sally, an emphatic plea to ‘get down’. Their extensive set aims to kick your arse, with each song delivered with forceful, thumping, blues-induced rock.  Sweat descends and phlegm ascends as Butterworth and Barter superbly back the vocal and guitar lead of Larkin.  Let’s Go Missing, Cold Change and Disappointing Friend best demonstrate the band’s versatility.

The Men are dapper,polite and excited.  Their brand of mod rock penetrates the room like sunbeams through an attic.  The dancefloor juves, the kick out the jams and the room inhales a breath of fresh air.  Sven Kohler has more mic stand acrobatics than Whispering Jack and his stellar showmanship ensures an entertaining set.  Cannonball Girl, Pack Up Your Memories and Where The Good Times Go have the crowd in a frenzy.  They are tasty cuts – tight, groovy and clean.  It’s a winning recipe in Kohler’s view, “Take a pinch of cool, dash of heat and sweet sweet love.”

Long live Pure Pop Records, $20 showcase gigs and independent music.

John Donaldson

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