The Creases @ Black Bear Lodge, 20th June
It’s 8pm at Black Bear Lodge, and the air is shaking with anticipation. Revellers young and old have begun pouring up the warmly lit staircase we’ve come to know and love, bartenders are tending to the remaining Friday afternoon crowd, and a smattering of Brisbane music talent begin to appear. It’s an intricate mix of bar-goers; some are winding up for the evening, while the vast majority are just getting started.
Whilst ordinarily this could produce a somewhat stiff air to a scene, local jazz-rockers The Furrs eased us into the night with their impeccably balanced blend of bluesy rock’n’roll. Their soulful tones and eerie harmonies were perfectly complemented by the dim, cool lighting design, and had the audience wholly enraptured from start to finish.
After a quick rework of the stage setup, Babaganouj were ready to showcase their brand of high tempo, high spirits pop-rock. Sounding a smidge more rock than pop in this instance, the four-piece played with excitable precision, weaving their way through an impressive lineup of original songs. Vocals were punchy when necessary and blissfully smooth otherwise, thanks to a well rehearsed balance between Charles and Harriette. At times they did become a little lost under some powerful guitar arrangements, which is always a risk when performing live, but did well to maintain their volume and presence. A welcome surprise for revellers was a cover of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream; an unexpected choice but wildly gratifying nonetheless. Babaganouj gave an overplayed pop song more justice than ever heard before, making it 100% their own and 110% improved.
By now, the Lodge is well and truly brimming with both eagerness and people alike. Jumpers make way for sweaty necks and arms, drinks flow freer than ever, and audience space becomes hot property. Shortly after 10pm, The Creases take to the stage, officially launching their single Static Lines.
Hot on the heels of their recent stint in the UK, this was their first headline show, and what better way to celebrate the launch of a new single than with a sell-out home crowd. The four-piece wasted no time in getting the audience moving and grooving, with debut single I Won’t Wait featuring mid-way through the set. A track so well known for its shoegaze vibes and raw recording style, it translated well to a live performance; with the crowd freely enjoying those marvellous riffs right through to the end. Soon came The Creases’ own little surprise; a cover of Tal Bachman’s She’s So High. Instantly recognisable by the ever-catchy riff at the beginning, the effect their cover had on the crowd was phenomenal. With Joe and Jarrod sharing vocal responsibilities, and Aimon on backup, drummer Gabe was left to smash his kit to oblivion. In all the excitement of the song, there was still a method to his madness; an absolute testament to the musical talent both he and the rest of the band members possess. Each musician gave it their all, and it’s for that reason the cover was such a success.
The Creases held the crowd’s attention right into Static Lines, performing like pros to uniform chants of “I don’t remember, I can’t remember“. It was a true indicator of their persistence and hard work to see an audience respond so well to a relatively new band. Their overseas touring schedule has only polished their performance further, without rubbing off any of their modest charm. The boys were as humble as they were fun, and commanded the unwavering enthusiasm of their jovial bunch of revellers. Static Lines is without a doubt one of the catchiest tunes to come out of Brisbane in years, and was a perfect way to round off their set.
Exiting the stage to a mountain of screams and cheers, The Creases returned soon after for an encore performance of Electric Six’s Gay Bar, much to the delight of a tambourine-wielding audience member who was invited on stage to accompany them. The four-piece spared no energy for this one; thrashing and grooving about the stage, spurring the crowd on to heightened levels of exhilaration. There was no question over who the happiest person in the room was; Tambourine-man, whose identity is still a mystery to us, wore the biggest smile and jammed the hardest of anyone.
All in all, what a fantastic night to have been in Brisbane. To witness a crescendo of bands such as that, in a venue as intimate as Black Bear, was stupendously great. The Creases continue their east-coast tour in Sydney and Melbourne this coming weekend, and are sure to induce equally as many head nods and hip swings. Though in saying that, you really can’t beat a home crowd, and that was undeniably evident on this particular night in Bris.
GIFs by Idam Adam.