It is both heartening and discomfiting to see Anton Newcombe and his band
turn in such a consummately professional performance. It feels
churlish not to afford Newcombe this valedictory tour of his back catalogue,Camden
after what has been an unbelievably tumultuous three decades, yet
anybody expecting the chaotic maelstrom evidenced on 2004’s
warts-and-all documentary Camden
‘Dig!’ is in for a disappointment. Nowadays the psych-rock eight-piece are a welloiled machine, Camden
effortlessly navigatin between new favourites (‘Vad Hände
Med Dem?’) and old anthems
(‘Not If You Were the Last Dandy on Earth’) with nary a hint of discord.
There are shades of the band’s uproarious past on display – Newcombe is properly furious when some aerial detritus finds its way to the stage – but
tonight’s set is otherwise about as grown-up as the audience.
If bands with lead-singing drummers – think Genesis, The Eagles et al – are
often characterised by high musical ability but the charisma of a teabag,
then Blank Realm appear to be inverting that trend with aplomb: despite looking like he’s just come from work,
leader Dan Spencer yelps and squeals over both his kit and the
rest of his band with palpable delight, and the entire Brisbane-based,
simbling four-piece’s chaotic,Camden
energetic and charmingly sloppy stage presence is so warmly
engaging that it more than trumps the lack of discernable musicianship
Sure, winning smiles only go so far, but Blank Realm’s are champion, and what’s more,
on the occasions that they actually do justice to their recorded output of hazy, summer-coloured noise,
the results are a broad-smiled joy, full of krauty meander and cosmic texture.
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