LOADED Present Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever at The Foundry, 24th June
It’s LOADED once again. The night where we all go silly on Sailor Jerry’s and dance to some of the best underground music Australia has to offer. Tonight Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (C.F) make the stage. It’s a chilly night in the Valley; the wind is fierce enough to rip off Donald Trump’s toupee. I find safe haven against the gust in the Foundry. I climb the stairs just before Figures switch on their amps. They begin with a solid drum beat and a thick fuzz of 90s grunge distortion. I’m getting a real You Am I feel from the three-piece band on stage, though instead of Tim Rogers, the vocalist is dressed in some trendy overalls. The blend of noise rock and grunge has a dreaminess about it as the guitars bend and twang. The melodies have everyone grooving like it’s 1993.
More punters have arrived to soak up the tunes and skull down the drinks. The $5 Sailor Jerrys are going down a treat. Next to the stage are locals Good Boy. Vocalist Rian King is rocking white footy shorts, a wooly beanie and what I think is a paisley button up. He grabs the bass and they begin their set against some of the best drum beats I’ve heard all year. The crowd have gathered in full force for the band; it’s as if the headliner has already begun. The groovy bass compliments well against the constant change between chords and slick riffs from guitarist Tom Lindeman. It feels as if their music is forever evolving as the song progresses from riff to thick chords, strummed back to riff to funky bass lines. I’m amazed at drummer Stu McKenzie who doesn’t look fazed, even towards the end of the set, as he pulls off some intricate rhythms. I’d happily argue he’s one of the best drummers in Brisbane. The crowd chant along with their favourite single Transparency, and shortly after Good Boy are off to the bar for another tinny.
The crowd shortly disappear and it takes a while for them to come back, even as headliners Rolling Blackouts C.F begin. By the end of the first song the room is looking full again. The small stage is packed with the five-piece band trying not to stand on each other’s toes. Guitars line the stage; an acoustic is thrown in for good measure. Much to my surprise, their single Write Back makes an early appearance; I liken it to a Talking Heads concoction. They begin but something doesn’t sound right. I can’t figure it out, something is off, maybe an un-tuned guitar. I see the band look at each other, they know what’s up, but they keep playing. Luckily, it’s sorted as the track heightens, the killer riff is a throwback to 80s Australian rock. The band play with real heart on stage; each guitarist has their own turn on vocals and they all deliver with style. There’s something in Rolling Blackouts that isn’t in every band you see live, a sense of coherence, and I think it’s something that’s lost in modern bands. It’s obvious their influences are the Australian bands that defined the 80s, the Go Betweens for example, and they take on an aura of that era on stage. Their single Clean Slate oozes of this too; the crowd grooves along to the long solos.
Rolling Blackouts C.F might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially when many bands intentionally write something to join the indie zeitgeist. But I think the band are something special amongst the sea of familiarity. Anyway, the DJs have begun to spin something special; it’s time to dance.