Thursday, 19 May 2011

Pale Man Made, The Union Choir and Blood Oranges @ Packhorse, 14th May

Went to the Packhorse for a show on the 14th, tried calling some people up but thankfully no-one responded so I went on my own. I wasn't really feeling like hanging out with people I know, I wanted to simply be alone and listen to some music, so it's quite contradictory for me to have called people up but it was more like a polite thing to do so if anyone got upset I could at least say "yeah but I called you up"... real sneaky. I've noticed how there seems to be a stigma regarding going to shows alone - as if it were a waste of time or just a strange thing for a person to do, but some of the best shows I've seen were when I was alone. Take Birthmark or example. No unneccessary need to start conversations, no uneasiness about whether or not your friends are having a good time, just simply enjoying the music and doing whatever you feel like doing... Don't take me wrong, its awesome to see a band with friends, but sometimes it's nice to have the band all to yourself.

The bands were fuckin sick that night. The lineup included 2 bands from Newcastle (Pale Man Made, The Union Choir) and a band of local students (Blood Oranges).
Pale Man Made was probably my favourite performance of the evening, I showed up around halfway through their set. Their sound was kind of indie mixed with some lo-fi elements, so at times it was upbeat and at others quite emotional. Their sound actually at times reminded me of my ex-girlfriend. Not really a particular memory as such, but just a really strong feeling - you know what I mean? Don't mean to sound depressing, thats just how I felt at the time. They had a really experienced sound, I could tell they'd been playing for a while, and the bassists fingers were so damn stretchy.. I bet she could palm a basketball as if it were an apple. Pretty much every song was amazing, it just sucked I didn't know any of the words because they would've been so fun to sing along to. I pictured being on a big 60s dancefloor with everyone just swaying and spinning around. But I was at a live show so I had to be content just bouncing around a bit. The guy and girl singing took turns, the girl sounded really mellow and warm, the guy was more edgy and loud, so they blended together nicely. I ended up buying their old album - check it out if you get the chance, its pretty sick. Quite melancholy, their set seemed quite lively in comparison, I think they were playing a lot of their newer stuff.

I met a dude named Aaron after that set, real funny guy just gettin drunk and yelling stupid shit at the bands and gettin them hyped. Shows need more people like him, it definitely eases any awkward tension.

Union choir came on next, Aaron made a pretty accurate judgement about the band after the first 30 seconds, that all the additional instruments (the cello, the violin and sax) were there just for show. For the first 3 songs that was definitely the case, with most of the emphasis being put on the guitar, bass and keyboard, but as their set progressed their songs gradually improved and each instrument played more of a noticebale role.. Except for the cello - which kinda sucked to be honest. A nice deep cello note would have been perfect for some songs. I think her pick ups weren't working great that night. The band was more melodical than Pale Man, and the singers voice seemed a bit exaggerated at times. Overall it was alright. There were a couple of moments where the harmony between instruments really hit me deep, but overall Pale Man was more for me.

Blood oranges came on last, they all got on stage and from the moment the lead singer/peter griffin lookalike started speaking I just felt so happy. They all radiated really positive energy and it came through in their music. It was the funnest set of the night, if not the funnest I've had since seeing Reverend Peyton or The Afternoon Gents. They came on wearing pictures of the dudes from BLU around their necks, in honor of their glorious performance at the eurovision contest, and the lead singer was funny as fuck. Their sound was of indie-pop bordering pop-punk, really upbeat, quite fast paced and to do with love, relationships and stuff like that. The girl on keyboard had a cool voice, cutesy but not sickly, it complemented the guy's voice really well. The fact that the singing was shared between genders gave a much deeper meaning to each song, like a story being told from either perspective of an ending relationship. The bassist was pretty cool, stuck to simple riffs which was perfect for their music - I respect bassists that can do that, whenever I play I often get really bored and try to get all technical and just end up fucking it up. She was also pretty sexy. The drumming was intense, reallllly fast and really on time, like pop punk with 2 extra beats per second. Towards the end they handed round some fruity champagne to comemorate their boys BLU, that was pretty awesome.. I was pretty dehydrated so it went to my head pretty quick.

Awesome show, I was getting stir-crazy from revising and sick of watching porn out of boredom so seeing these bands was exactly what I needed... Pale man and Blood oranges do shows quite often so check them out if you get the chance!

Pale Man Made
The Union Choir
Blood Oranges