Vasco Era @ Jive, Adelaide (3/09/20110)
One of Australia’s most consistent live bands delivered a sharp and shiny (albeit too short ) a set at Jive on Saturday night. Packed full of rowdy punters, the intimate venue was warmed by the first of three Melbournian bands, Kitchen Knife Wife. Their Supergrass-tinged set was the five piece’s Adelaide debut, consisting of tight, varied, and lively indie pop. Fearless Vampire Killers followed suit, providing a blues backdrop for the slowly-filling room. Drummer Dylan Lieberman, although having the appearance of a 12 year old, belted the skins like a seasoned veteran, and the band seemed to genuinely enjoy the performance.
After a quick turnaround, a trademark dishevelled Vasco took to the stage, with drummer Michael rocking a new bowl cut. Syd sauntered to the mic, either trashed or acting convincingly so, struggling with a t-shirt overlapping his guitar. The beginning of slow burner hit Honeybee acted as a catalyst for sticky-floor dancing. Now the trademark opener, this song used to be saved as the closing piece de resistance, pre-_Lucille_ days. Brother Ted’s thumping bass surged from the collapsing ending of Honeybee into I Am The Chosen Vessel off their second album, Sid howling and drooling as he is want to do. The crowd erupted into claps and whistles as the screaming opening brought those sitting to their feet. Sid thanked the crowdand apologised for not being able to see through his new ‘shaggy do’. Triple J golden child Oh Sam followed, met with moshing and one very enthusiastic crowd surfer.
The tour’s namesake, Child Bearing Hips was a jaunty hark back to the Vasco of old; which is a promising sign for the next album. The Jive came alive at this point of the night with members of the support band even getting in on the actions.
Shouts from the crowd demanded first single Kingswood, to which the bands replied “no, we’re not playing that. Definitely not”. A shot of tequila for each band member was then handed over the heads of the crowd, fuelling a rambling rendition of Voodoo Child, which shows off the brilliant guitar skills of the brothers O’Neil.
Leaving no time for between-song banter, so-so new track_ Rock and Roll is the Only Thing That Makes Me Feel Good_ quickly rolled into Already Won, the drowsy closer to last album Lucille. Amid more requests for Kingswood, Sid informs us that the new album is due out on October 14, before breaking out into When it First Showed Up, one of the best tracks off their debut Oh We Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside. This raised expectations of more old material being aired, as we had only been treated to about 35 minutes of the band thus far.
Quicker than you could yell out “Kingswood!” again, the stage was invaded by what seemed to be half of Adelaide, during a cover of Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone. Drinks, cameras, and an owl (!?) were thrust amongst the mix on the cramped stage, before security interjected during the opening bars of Kingswood. Aside from a few regulatory boos and hisses, the floor filled again, and the quickest ever version of the debut track was over before it started, leaving no time for encores or claps.
You could not help but feel a bit cheated out of only seeing a 40 minute set from one of Australia’s most well-established current live acts, with only a taster of what they have achieved, what they can cover, and what is soon to come. Fingers are crossed for a more well-rounded tour upon the release of the new album in October.