The Holidays + The Cairos + We Are Fans
Wednesday 29th September 2010
Beach Road Hotel
Doing happy laps trying to find a park in the side streets of Bondi on a weeknight with rain dripping down is not fun. Especially if it’s for a free gig that leaves you underwhelmed. Beach Road Hotel has a pretty strong music scene, with Wednesdays being the popular night to get down when the venue plays host to ‘Sideshows’: a free gig which continues to attract up & coming bands, with past acts including Cut off Your Hands and Yves Klein Blue. We squashed onto a couch out of the cold and into the heat of the ‘We Are fans’ beat. Italian disco pop meets lo-fi grungy pop, the band from Melbourne grooved on stage as a very likeable opening act. The bubbly lead brunette dominated, with her black bat wings shimmying as she banged that tambourine. Oozing the charisma of Karen O, her confident optimism led the band and drew a small crowd of revelers. One couldn’t help being a fan of their infectious toe-tapping songs. Check them out for yourself here.
|We are fans: black panther sexy|
The next set by the Cairos was promising. The post-punk indie rockers from Cairns started with broody, heavy strumming but the first few songs whilst enjoyable, seemed monotonous and lacked a climactic roar. ‘Listening Party’ had an air of a tame Nine Inch Nails or Foo Fighters rock song, but with softer vocals. The sliding guitar solo was impressive but not long enough! Lead singer Alistar Richardson, had magnetic, slightly haunting, brooding vocals reminiscent of the Foals lead singer. The later songs of the set proving far more danceable with ‘Today’, a sunny optimistic number echoing the lovable effervescence of US surf-rock bands like Wild Nothing. ‘Whales’, one of the more impressive songs of the set had a dark, alluring catchiness to it, harking veins of the Cure’s popular eighties work. With a bit of maturation I could see these Queensland boys really tearing it up. You can listen for yourself here.
|Young guns from The Cairos|
Finally, the Holidays graced the stage and the audience surged forward. Already the gig was running later than anticipated and the underwhelming performance of the headliners did little to bade me to stay. Whilst, they were clearly the most polished act on the bill, Sydney five piece, the Holidays seemed happy to cruise with their island breeze vocals and tracks. The tropical calypso beat of ‘Moonlight Hours’, complete with magical marimba bridge, was easily the highlight, inviting a sweet desire to escape reality with lyrics like “we can get on board, let’s get out of touch”. Beginning with some strong afro-drumming, ‘Golden Sky’, had me grooving with the fluid guitars and lovely harmonies at the end. However, I was hankering for their older gutsier electric guitar compositions, embodied in songs like ‘Mexico’ and ‘Planes’, which had a more cyclical pace to it, punching their way from the beginning with sliding guitars and punchy vocals, before building up into a fiery crescendo then silence. Nevertheless, I uncharacteristically left the gig part way through the set. If the thought of bed entices me more than the music in stage then one has to worry. Perhaps the sunnier sounds of this chilled band are better enjoyed shaken not stirred and less sober in the summer sun. Go on holidays with their sounds here.
|Summery sounds and attitudes from The Holidays|