Children Collide @ The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide (14/08/11)
Two-piece Damn Terrain are an interesting band. I have never seen them before and I didn’t think the sold out crowd had either by their reactions. Comprised of just a guitarist and drummer – insert comparisons to the White Stripes here – they were exciting to watch…for a while. It was all crash, boom, bang for the Melbourne outfit. I’m no drummer but for a raw sounding the band, the drumming was so slick that it’s hard to believe Leigh Ewbank is only about 20 years old. The band’s screeching guitars and thumbing drums was great to watch, but some of the tunes seemed too over the top at times. If they brought it down a level, they will be a band to look out for in a couple of years.
Children Collide came to light for me in early 2008, just a few months before the release of the debut. So I’ve been lucky to see them rise from this little unknown indie band with a couple of EPs under their belt to playing the main stage at Splendour In The Grass only a few weeks ago. Using the clichÃ©d term ‘matured’, I can say in the 3Â½ years I’ve been watching them, they actually have.
As a band the three members clash, just look at their style – it shouldn’t work, but it does. Bassist Heath Crawley has milked that late 80s shoe-gazer band – think My Bloody Valentine – look for a while. Drummer Ryan Caesar looks like he should be in a jazz band with his suave attire and slicked hair. The voice, Johnny Mackay, now with shorter hair, still looks and runs around like he is in some Seattle grunge band from 20 back. But you know what? It works. These three mates morph together to form one of Australia’s most exciting live bands. If you were motionless after the first bars of We Live In Fear then you shouldn’t be here. That’s one thing Children Collide has always been able to do, get the masses moving. Every song they played received a massive cheer, especially Farewell Rocketship and My Eagle. These songs didn’t even need Mackay singing as he has the Governor Hindmarsh choir almost drowning him out. The rest of the show was stock standard, but Children Collide’s stock standard is what many bands strive to achieve. They always give 150%; jumping around the stage at any given moment.
In amongst the set of well known tracks like Jellylegs, and absolute rocker Social Currency they played the live debut (in Adelaide anyway) of Loveless (complete with video clip where Mackay has his head shaved) and a new track. Judging on first impressions it needs a bit more work. Give a few more months in a recording studio and it will have that familiar Children Collide sound. The set finished with the manic instrumental Fire Engine, I never tire of watching Mackay throw his body around.