goodbye moon and Max Chillen + the Kerbside Collective @ the Zoo, 29th September

I’m waiting on the staircase of the Zoo, behind a gaggle of cuffed rolled, tote-bag-holding, baggy shirted hipsters who have arrived early to see goodbye moon.  I hear an ebb and flow of electronic soundscapes against the gentle brush of guitar chords. Vocalist Tim Aird moves from spitting rhymes like a fresh cut Jamie T, to an indie croon ala Morrissey. The intimate crowd at the front of the stage sway along with the mellow beats, fellow bandmate David Webster adding phaser-like guitar licks over the electronic rhythms.  Half way through the set, goodbye moon slow the pace down with some ballad-esque tunes. It’s melancholic and a definite change against the RnB verses that we have become familiar with. Goodbye moon pick back up with some faster tunes, Crystal Disco is a personal favourite mixing the croon against some sexy bass lines and delicate guitar riffs.  The band have impressed me upon first viewing, but I feel like goodbye moon have a stronger identity with the hip-hop beats, the sly lyrics and the serenading vocals.

Next on the bill are local new wave throwbacks, Max Chillen and the Kerbside Collective. Aird makes a welcome return to stage with the bass guitar in hand. Off the cuff, the band begin with Treat Me Rough.  The heavy bass drives the intro like a thumping pulse after sex, no cigarette to tie you over. Chillen himself struts on stage, his deep croon howling “I want you to punch me in the face.” The energy on stage is infectious within the first track.  The crowd are jumping, feeding off the aura that the band project. The band are missing the keyboard on stage, and though it adds a thicker texture to the tracks, MCKC still hold their own. The bass begins another catchy hook against a solid kick drum and snare combo; the jangly guitar picks against some minor chords. Chillen’s vocals resemble a mature Nick Cave against a backdrop of premature New Order as he sings, “I’m afraid that you don’t love me.” They have better stage presence than some who have already toured up and down the East Coast. The band groove along with each other, but it’s Max Chillen on centre stage that demands everyone’s attention. He thrusts and twists in between verses like he belongs at a 1970s Bowie concert, sneakily stealing verses straight from the Smiths. The band close with a cover of the Brisbane cult song Poverty Line by Good Boy, throwing in a bit of Kerbside Collective flavour making it a solid rendition of a new classic.  This is a band that you need to keep on your radar.

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