Hey Geronimo @ Black Bear Lodge, 5th August
Returning to Brisbane for the final leg of their Chasing Into The Sun album tour, beach rockers Hey Geronimo are at the Black Bear Lodge.
In an effort to get an Uber into the valley without a surcharge, I unfortunately miss all of Alex LeStrange’s set. I later hear from an audience member that it was outstanding. Hurriedly leaping up the stairs at 9pm, I manage hear the first sounds from Sunshine Coast band, Pop Cult.
Inside, and away from the bitter cold, a few early audience members are up the front dancing to the energetic foursome. I grab myself a red wine from the bar and settle in.
It seems that Pop Cult have traded in their grungy, berated vocals for a sweaty, upbeat sound that I haven’t heard before. While incorporating a spacey backing, there is a distinct rise in the intensity of the focal instruments. The lead guitar has a gritty, disco texture to it which blends seamlessly with Tim’s lead vocals. Maybe it’s the atmosphere and the crowd, but I’m absorbed in the bands showmanship tonight. Covering ABBA’S Does Your Mother Know, we are rewarded with a karaoke style sing along mid way though the set. Finishing with Feels Right, the band nail that gnarly, early 2000s rock sound, reminiscent of Grinspoon or more recently DMA’s.
After spilling half my wine down my jacket, I retire to the back of the room to blend in with the audience. The crowd tonight is full but not packed, perfect for a Friday night at Black Bear.
Hey Geronimo enter the stage at around 10.30. We are greeted with the original line up, with an exciting new addition. On backing vocals and keys, we have Brisbane experimental soloist Pluto Jonze. Jonze’s made waves last year with his hit single Eject. After hearing the first few songs of the set, it’s obvious that his inclusion breathes a quirky, spacey element to the sound. It’s wacky and fits the beachy build perfectly. This influence is heard best in new tracks such as Boredom and Carbon Affair.
Ross Pearson’s vocals are animated and charismatic, especially the bands older material. Mid way though the set, the band play their Triple J Like A Version cover of Courtney Barnett’s Happiness At Best, which is my personal highlight of the night. Finishing up with crowd favourite, Lazer Gun Show, we get a taste of the bands colourful playful side, harnessing a glorious retro vibe. Though, part of me can’t help thinking that it reminds me too much the Wiggles. All and all, it’s a lot of fun, and makes for an excellent boogie, spilt wine or not.