6s and 7s/Umpire/SmRts/Hang On St Christopter @ Hydey Back Room 20/11/09

It seemed like it was Love Is My Bistro at the Hydey Backroom on Friday night, with a night of rock and indie run by Love Is My Velocity. The Hydey Backroom, for visitors who have yet to sample the place, resembles a bistro straight from the 1970s, from the vinyl seating and plastic tables to the booths to the side of the room. Plonked somewhere to the back of the room is the stage, with requisite dancefloor. As one punter noted, “This place reminds me of a school social.”

So, let’s sample the delights of the night’s menu…

First up on the menu was some shoe-gaze indie in the form of Hang on St Christopher. Starting with Sean O’Neil solo, the rest of the band then joined him to play a great set that was both gentle and ambient, and intense. The harmonising was quirky and gave the songs a unique twist.

Second on the menu was experimental instrumentalists smRts, who were there to deliver something completely different. With three guitars and two drummers, they were at times driving and intense, and exotic-sounding with their use of eastern scales in their music. A highlight was The Serpent Bites The Young Lion which was given a bombastic treatment by the band.

Third on the menu was the colourfully-dressed 6s and 7s, who gave a powerhouse set of pop rock while set incongruously to the TV playing Muay Thai boxing. Listening to the Wiggles-themed 6s and 7s is like listening to a musical rendition of a summer breeze, from their bouncing melodies to Josh Fontaine’s strong, soaring tenor and a backing choir. The band had people up on the dancefloor whirling away, with Josh Fontaine noting this favourably: “It’s always nice to see people dancing away.” The best band of the night, they stole the show with songs such as Smilin’, which Fontaine hinted would be the band’s first single to be released in January.

Umpire were a disappointing end to the gig. The music was bland and their vocalist had might’ve had the willpower to sing in tune, but certainly not the way. The best way to describe their music was to think of a melodic rock band who were stuck in the 90s with an off-key, over-ambitious singer.

Overall it was a good menu of music, with 6s and 7s being the dish of the evening and smRts and Hang On St Christopher also making great meals. It’s highly recommended that you check out the 6s and 7s upcoming releases and gigs around the town.