Friday, 19 April 2013

Gig Review - The Griswolds

The Griswolds
X&Y Bar, Brisbane (12/04/13)
Review by Jo Michelmore
Pics by Nayt Housman

I walked in the doors of the X&Y a little confused on Friday night. I felt like I was going to a festival, having an intense bag search before I walked in, which was interesting, considering my bag was the size of maybe two envelopes…and was incredibly fabulous, as was the rest of my clothing, but that’s another story. Maybe that’s why they searched it, they just wanted to see the awesome fabric lining….oh wait, I’m not reviewing my style here, so I digress. Anyway, after being frisked, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but like I don't like judging a book by its cover (this is a riduculous saying, who does that anyway?) so I learnt not to judge a gig by its bouncers and sauntered on in.

The Oceanics

The first band I caught, Oceanics, are a four piece from the Gold Coast and one I wish I’d seen a long before Friday night. Playing tracks from their EP ‘Bright People’ and hopefully some that will appear on their full length album at some stage, they filled X&Y with a full sound and tight melodies; they had remnants of the best of 90’s brit pop, with some American 60's surf images popping up every now and then, all bright guitars and fun beats. Their set is full of sway along rhythms and punchy pop and a set I’d be more than happy to have seen much more of. Thirty minutes was not enough for this much great. 

Some time for free soft drink and people watching when The Griswolds appeared quicker than I expected. This made for a fun time trying to squeeze through the incredibly small and packed dance floor in front of the stage. After two or three songs I managed to make it to the front, where I found what was a little Griswold’s following in the form of a devoted indie girl audience. This was unexpected, interesting and somewhat distracting, I don’t necessarily go to a gig to avoid the splashing beverages of drunk girls beside me and to watch them fawning over a guitarist and pawing at the lead singer, like twelve year olds after 1D, but after a song or two and time to focus on the band on stage, I realised this was a group of musicians that were good. Really good. Really, really good.  

They play through a set that involves the crowd pleaser 'Heart Of A Lion' and the song that named the tour they were playing; ‘The Courtship Of Summer Preasley’ and they also cracked out a couple of covers, mashing together The Jackson's ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough, Regurgitator’s ‘The Song Formerly Known As’ and Ben E King's ‘Stand By Me’. It’s an interesting choice of songs, but one’s that works incredibly well together and ones the band clearly enjoy playing. The crowd singalong during 'Stand By Me' is less sing along and more random humming, but the band seem to love it nonetheless. As soon as the covers are finished, they launch straight into their own tracks with as much energy as ever and a bunch of beautiful giant smiles.

 The Griswolds

I've said it so many times, I go to see a band to be entertained, so I expect to be entertained and it is such a pleasure to watch a band who are clearly enjoying themselves, a band who play their material like it's the first time they've hit a stage, with huge smiles and eyes closed, they're a band who seem to have a lot of fun and actually, genuinely enjoy what they do. If this is the show The Griswolds play all the time, this is a band I'd be happy to see again and again and again. In fact, where are you Griswolds? Come back, immediately.....!

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