Friday, 5 April 2013

Gig Review - Cub Scouts

Cub Scouts
with Rodeo and Major Leagues
live at the Black Bear Lodge (28/03/13)
Words by Jo Michelmore
Pics by Nayt Housman

The Black Bear Lodge is one of my favourite venues in Brisbane, welcoming to all but a haven for the uber cool element and last week it was obvious that it was the hipster indie kids who ruled the lodge; poorly fitting shorts, vintage and vintage inspired shirts, interesting show choices and attempts at facial hair abound. They're a nice bunch these indie hipsters so it made for a pleasant evening.

I wasn't sure what to expect from Rodeo, whose real name is Susie Patten and who happens to be the founding member of I Heart Hiroshima. She initially started with a bang, almost literally, with the volume about three or four times louder than I suspect it was meant to be. The audience recovered from the shock quickly, as did Rodeo herself; just one person, a laptop and some other electronic playthings, she launched into her set and took herself into the crowd numerous times to entertain. Her short set was fun and a delight to watch.

While Rodeo was charming and entertaining, she was probably someone the second support could learn a thing or two from. Major Leagues, three girls and one guy are clearly a very talented group of people; their guitars strong, their melodies catchy and when they could be heard, their vocals were impressive, but perhaps a few more gigs and they might be comfortable enough to glance at their audience every now and then, maybe even take a minute or two to look interested. Hipster cool? No, hipster boredom. Not the same thing.


By the time Cub Scouts make their way to the stage, the Black Bear is bursting at the seams and I'm almost sure the entire Brisbane indie poulation has gathered in one spot for the night. Some beach balls are thrown onto the stage and the Cub Scouts gang begin their set with the current single 'Pool' which receives a warm response. Following on with 'Beast Inside', lead singer and keyboardist Tim Nelson explains it was "written after a lady ran into the back of my car". Throughout the set, fellow keyboardist and singer Sam Netterfield is comfortable and instrumental in keeping the melodies and vocals strong; while shy bass player Zoe Davis offers sweet backing vocals and guitartist Andrew Williams and drummer Daniel Pussari hold the keyboard heavy act together. With so many instruments on such a small stage, the lack of room is sometimes a distraction,but I guess that's can't be helped when you play a cute little venue like the Black Bear.

They continue on through their set, genuinely appreciated by the crowd, playing familiar tracks like 'Told You So' and 'Do You Hear' as well as a sneak peek of super catchy new tracks like 'Paradise'. Toward the end of the set is when Cub Scouts pull out what I now call their 'one trick' from a band that is soon going to need to be more than a 'one trick band'. While the Destiny's Child medley is impressive, it's a shame that these songs are the ones that Cub Scouts seem to enjoy playing the most. I won't deny it's a super fun 'one trick', which has the crowd smiling, clapping and dancing and the band bouncing around with the crowd, but that's unfortunately something they don't do enough of during the rest of their set. It makes me question if they're this excited about playing someone else's songs, why aren't they as enthused about their own? Perhaps that will come with more experience, but it's something they'll want to learn quickly as having seen it numerous times already, the Destiny's Child trick is beginning to get old quickly. After all, they didn't enter the music industry to be in a Beyonce inspired cover band, right?

Having said that, the rest of their set continues on with more enthusiasm than the start and the show ends with a shower of glitter and 'Evie', which was played with a sense of fun and appreciation for the sell-out crowd that has come to be part of the phenomenon that is becoming Cub Scouts. It's a phenomenon I've seen grow in the last few months and one I hope will continue to develop as they get more and more experience performing in front of welcoming audiences. As they begin to travel the world looking for the fame and fortune bands dream of, I look forward to seeing their performances change and grow up along the way.

You can check out some Cub Scouts pics at itsmykindofscene on instagram and also a gallery of pics on the itsmykindofscene facebook page. Or, until they play again somewhere near you, you can get yourself a copy of the Cub Scouts EP 'Told You So' right here.

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