The Dandy Warhols @ Metropolis Fremantle (26/05/11)

A Tuesday night at Metropolis Fremantle with The Dandy Warhols playing was always going to entice a mixed bag of a crowd. Hippies, tick; hipsters, tick; people that looked to be supremely off their face, tick; man with dreadlocks to his knees, tick; man moshing highly inappropriately throughout the whole gig, tick; people too cool to dance, tick; men and women, tick; young and old, tick tick.

But who the hell are The New Pollution?? A Google search emits million of results for the Beck song, but not much else apart from a funk band from Ohio. But, apparently they used to be The Velvetines. This begs the question, how did a little old Perth band of kids manage to have Courtenay Taylor-Taylor play drums on one of their songs on their recording? Suspicions were raised this group were of interest to The Dandies when Zia McCabe was spotted appearing from backstage during their set to watch a song and disappear again. And then it was Taylor-Taylor’s turn to appear, cool as a cucumber to stand back and peruse the band jamming away. It has to be said there were moments of brilliance during their set. Their first couple of songs didn’t take straight away but the middle of their set took off into a psychedelic oblivion of lovely instrumental jamming togetherness.

The anticipation grew and grew during the long wait until The Dandies appeared. The door girl had been telling people they’d be on at 8.30pm but considering The New Pollution didn’t finish until 8.15pm it was a bit ambitious. So by 9pm the crowd were a little restless, everyone shuffling around to find their spots that they would hold preciously for the rest of the night. And then arrived the band, took their positions the four in a row, with McCabe on her keyboard apparatus next to Brent DeBoer on drums, beside Taylor-Taylor and finally Peter Holstrom on the guitar.

The band begun with Be-In with their signature melodical guitars and keys alongside Taylor-Taylors droning vocal and harmonies. The band seemed very relaxed and to be enjoying themselves. Taylor-Taylor explained they’ve been in Perth rehearsing for a few days now and it showed that they were a very together outfit, peaceful, organized and just really happy. On a cup being thrown on stage Taylor-Taylor serenely joked about the thrower wanting it back so as not to have to wait in line again and requested it to be handed back through the crowd, bless him.

Used To Be Friends came next, with Taylor-Taylor exhibiting some showmanship using his guitar as another limb. Then came Shakin’ and along came inappropriate moshing man, who was a tad over-excited for the rest of the evening, knocking peoples heads with his elbows and so on. The rest of the crowd throughout the night were either dancing or standing in awe, a few moshing at times but it was a pretty chilled out affair. Not If You Were the Last Junkie On Earth elicited a cheer from the crowd and drummer DeBoer could be seen grinning from ear to ear throughout this song and many of the remaining numbers.

The Dandies have just about finished a new record, joking it will be called “Perth To The Dandy Warhols”. But really, it will be called This Machine. The Dandies played a couple of new songs that were interesting and pretty cool, whilst fitting in pretty well with their existing material.

The set continued and in total the band played for just on two hours, a darn good effort. It was obvious from beginning to end that all members are invested in the group and despite being around for well over ten years they are still making new material and loving it. They obviously take their music and their fans seriously as they gave their all throughout. Taylor-Taylor was rocking out, giving off some impressive Zoolander type guitar faces; with Deboer continuing to grin ear to ear and McCabe dancing with one arm and keyboarding with the other. There was heaps of variety as well, I Love You being a slightly creepy song of breathy tones then strobe lighting adding to the weirdness. Taylor-Taylor cracked out some spoken word, almost scatting (not in a jazz way obviously) during this and a few other times in the night. Holstrom cracked out a violin bow to play his guitar during The New Country.

Another highlight or almost disaster being the amp catching on fire, but this was quickly averted with Taylor-Taylor quipping “it’s just Zia’s hot ass”. Many of the men in the crowd appeared to agree.

So the audience left complete, feeling like nothing had been left unsung. The crowd were appreciative and the band were too. The icing on the cake was the encore of Zia McCabe coming back on stage to perform her traditional cutesy-pie song There’s A Daisy On My Toe.