Sunday, 8 June 2014

Gig Review - Our Man In Berlin

Our Man In Berlin
Live @ Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane (05/06/2014)
Reviewed by Jo Michelmore

Choices. Everyday so many choices. Wake up? Sleep in a little? Tea or coffee? Turn left or right? Some of them are easy, made without the thought they are even choices and others are more difficult. Some will have seemingly no impact on your existence and others are a little more intense.

All of the choices made have bought us all to where we are, you having chosen to click on this little blog and read these little words, me having chosen to spend the time to write them. Five talented souls from Perth have made the choice to create beautiful sounds and share them with world and last week they made the choice to trek all the way across this massive country of ours and share their lives sounds with the east coast, where I choose to live. Last week, my fellow blogger Matt and I made the choice to visit a venue we haven't always been fans of, to witness what it was about this band that has grabbed our attention for twelve months or so now. 

I don't know what the choices are that Haydn, Justin, Trevor, Dan and Rory have made to create the fabulous sounds they have on their debut EP is it right?, but I dare not question such things, I'm just really, really glad they made them. Having been a fan of their sounds for over a year now, when the opportunity to see them live came my way, there was no way I was going to make any choices that let me miss the show. Other people on Thursday night made different choices. Some made the choice to dress in costume in order to let them into the venue for free, others made the choice I can only assume was to drink...lots, in the lead up to the gig and these are all valid choices. Mine? Mine was to see a band I adore and not let any one else's choices hinder my live music experience. 

By the time Our Man In Berlin made their way to the stage, many choices had been made by the people who attended, the punters in Alhambra had increased and decreased a couple of times and to be honest, I'm really unsure as to how many were there for the choice of booze or music, but once those sweet sounds from is it right? were played, none of it really mattered, because talent like Our Man In Berlin's needs to be appreciated, regardless of surrounds. 

'Airhead' was beautiful, comforting and dramatic and I honestly had one of those little "oh wow" live music moments when Haydn's voice filled the room, the sounds were exactly as they should be, strong and incredibly familiar. The instantly recognisable beats of 'Lonely Arms' took me somewhere far away from my surrounds, somewhere that music is revered and loved and admired, somewhere in my own world, the layered sounds of guitar and keys were a perfect escape from the person who made their own choices and decided Matt was 'the only person they were going to meet that night' while comparing Our Man In Berlin to The Doors and David Bowie, which is probably not a bad compliment, but yes, a view a little shaded in liquid refreshment.

'Flight'; the track that simultaneously surprised and delighted me when I first heard it, almost did the same thing again as a live track, something that I long to hear in a bigger venue, a song that I now know deserves to be played live, it's sounds begging to be appreciated. 'Cirrohsis' let me appreciate the four band members that support the front man that Haydn was clearly born to be, but no front man of any band is any good without an incredibly talented band to support him.This band are more than incredibly talented, they make it difficult to know what I should be watching, what I should be listening to or where my attention should be focused, but they make the choice of enjoying live music an easy one, because it's musicians like this that make drunken punters, annoying conversations and spilt drinks go away, they make the live music experience much better than it sometimes can be.

With all of that, something happened on Thursday night that made me so glad to have made the choice to be a blogger when Matt first asked me to write with him all those years ago now. The first song I heard of Our Man In Berlin was one that struck me at the time but will now be placed in that little (not so little) list of live music moments I adore. The haunting of notes of 'Temaze' pierced through the Alhambra on Thursday night and while a lot of people there made the choice to keep drinking or keep chatting, for those of us who didn't, there was something special that occurred. It was those all familiar, all beautiful goosebumps, the feeling of warmth in the back of my throat, the open mouth wonder of how could I be lucky enough to have chosen to hear something so beautiful that visited me, and nothing, not even the slight technical difficulties took those feelings away. Those are the moments that keep me making the choices of putting up with the punters, of dragging myself out of the house after long days and knowing how tired I'll be the next; they are the moments that make the choice to adore the live music I do worthwhile.

Now I can only hope Our Man In Berlin keep making the choices they have to make the music they do and play the gigs they are and one day those choices will lead to more EP's, more albums, more gigs, more fans and I'm happy to admit, selfishly for me, more mesmerising live music moments.

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