Posted by: Miles | August 4, 2009

Gig Review: Gazing Souls

The Spheres
Great Earthquake
No Art
Seth Rees
The Nhomeas


Read on for the scoop on an intimate gig in the inner west.

The first few acts on tonight all played similar long format experimental sets. A single uninterrupted stream of music, odd sounds coaxed out of guitars, effects laden vocals and drumming that didn’t sound quite right (though you couldn’t always figure out why). But there were also many differences between the bands. Ghoul crammed the tiny stage with people and drums, there were 5 or 6 of them. The half of them on percussion gave their music a tribal quality at times. They also had a trumpet which instantly increases either the cool or wank factor of a band- this time it was cool. The Nhomeas had just one drummer and focused mainly on getting their guitars to make exceedingly strange sounds. But i’d say Seth Rees was the most guitar focused, probably because it was just him and a single guitar (note: this didn’t stop him from making a lot of noise). But he did bring in a drummer to finish off his set with some nice flourishes.

While the other bands were great to watch No Art were a welcome change of pace. By far the most traditional band of the night, they set out to just play some exciting rock songs. The vocals were brilliant, the two female leads really had amazing voices and together with the drummer they produced some great washed out harmonising. A strong base line filled out the songs as a high pitched guitar played scratchy notes over the top of it all. I guess they sounded a bit like Sonic Youth but with more ethereal vocals.


Great Earthquake was up next. Noah Symons sits alone. Surrounded by instruments he starts a melody on a glockenspiel, then moves onto the drums to hit up a nice beat before shifting to the base and playing a few chords. It’s just that each time he stops playing the instrument keep going. The song gains depth as he continually sets small loops in motion, on the guitar for a moment and now the accordion! It’s the funnest thing to watch. Concentration is spread out over his face as he moves the mic over to the drums for some extra flourishes. Then all of a sudden it stops dead. Silence. He moves the microphone to the glockenspiel and starts playing a new melody… This pattern is repeated several times over his set, each time with new variations, extra drumming, two layers of accordion, drums and cymbals that play impossibly fast. I don’t think this could sustain a crowds entertainment for a full length set but for the short time he’s on stage i don’t hear anyone whispering, am i just paying a lot of attention to or is everybody else?

We move from Dirty Shirlows’ tiny red lit stage into a large white paneled room, decked out in couches, a foosball table and some bar stools. It’s here that The Spheres prove they are the undeniable headliners. Their sonic and visual impact is too great to imagine them anywhere else in the line up. They are playing in a corner, two projectors light up the walls as violin, guitars, drums and a keyboard quietly start. The music is sometimes incredibly relaxing, it seems perfect lying on couches or sitting on the ground. But when it swells you feel like you are moving. As the drumming becomes frantic the sound pushes you back and forth. All of a sudden sitting seems ridiculous. The only thing stopping you from shifting around in front of the band is the horrible idea that you could stop those around you from seeing the lively projections. Behind the band and over many of the players are close ups of statues, roller coasters, hands holding something, was that a man? Is that grain? Huge orange and yellow leaves become the backdrop for the guitar players great shadows as you sink back into your seat and watch the light play on the silver lined ceiling. Perfect.

more photos here

The Spheres_Small



  1. […] were completely different to the last time i saw them, when they put on a 30min experimental set. This time it was a much more traditional […]

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