Monday, March 16, 2009

O'BALL: Gonna have funeth!

Adelaide University’s annual O’Week has always been marked by a helluva’ party and the end – the Union funded rock concert O’Ball. Each year in March the Adelaide Uni cloisters fill with fleets of bubbling youth, all there to check out live music, relax on the lawns or - in my case -pilfer cheap pints. That's right. I think you'll come to realise in time that all of my blogs have an underlining feature of being drunk. ;-)

This year’s musical offerings were particularly exciting, with acts like Children Collide, Little Red and The Cassette Kids taking to the stage. Thanks to some fantastic efforts from O’ball’s 2009 coordinators Rebekka Rechten and Aaron From, and their volunteers, the night panned out famously. Par some hired security who were (excuse my French here) unquestionable fuckwits. More on that later.

Adelaide’s hand-picked local act, Tracer, kick-started the evening into gear with a selection of powerhouse 70’s rock. The band have had promising press coverage in the last few weeks, and did uphold expectations with their performance.
(EDIT: I didn't actually see this band. Sorreh.)

Next up was Sydney quartet The Cassette Kids. Flouncing onto stage in a pair of rather dashing sequined tights, vocalist Kat Noorbergen was instantly the centre of attention. Performing tracks from EP We Are, their choppy, electro hooks combined with Kat’s siren howls made them an exciting group to watch. I hestitate to draw connections between this chick and Karen O, despite their vocals sounding very similar, because Karen O is the fucking goddess of the universe and I barely knew this chick. Still good fun though.

The Sydney darling was rocking out her hardest, yet despite efforts to conjure up a storm, she was left with a drizzle – literally. There was soon a spit of rain, at which her fans ran from the stage to find shelter. “Why is noone standing!” she winced. Sorry dude, I was too preoccupied hastily getting as many $3.50 pints as I could before happy hour ran out.

She managed to win the crowd back though – with bribery. “Dude, if I get two more people up here I’ll buy you each a Coopers!” Success ensued. Their set was topped off with a spectacular shout-out of “Adelaide, stand the fuck up! Stand the fuck up!” And there we had The Cassette Kids, signing out.

The punters had doubled by the time The John Steel Singers hit the stage, preceded by a cringe-worthy introduction from Nova 91.9’s Shane and Sarge. “You know how this band met? At Sizzler! I love Sizzler!” the radio presenter ‘joked’. Cough. What the fuck was Nova doing at a rock concert? Sorry, but any radio station that associates with 'Fitzy' is permanently, and i mean PERMANENTLY, in my black books. Despite this, because she was a little plump I found her little Sizzler joke funny. Had I been drunker I would have telled something along the lines of "Yeah I bet you love Sizzler". Alas, this was not the case. John Steel Singers put on a good show of breezy, jocular tunes while the sun went down. Tracks like Luxembourg were a hit, and slowly drew more and more people to the barriers.

Ten minutes later: “I wish these girls would just pee and get out,” complained the girl next to me while standing in the line for the bathroom. “I’ll kill myself if I miss Children Collide”. Perhaps this was a little overzealous, but it was safe to say Children Collide did garner the most hype for the night. Luckily for my queue neighbour, she didn’t have to wait long. Just minutes before the band came on a “Security” strode into the bathroom and demanded, quote; “Piss and get out” unquote. Oh, fucking wow. It was around this point that ticket-holders were beginning to get a bit peeved.

After a quick crowd warm-up from MC Claire, the time had finally come for Children Collide. Striding onto stage with a gusto that could rival Jimi Hendrix, guitarist and lead singer Johnny McKay announced his arrival with nothing short of a guitar shredding solo. The rest is history. Their sounds were tight, McKay’s vocals were top-notch and their dirty, grungy rock did a stellar job in making the moshpit go crazy. It’s been a while since we’ve seen these tight-panted indie folk really rock out with a guitar solo, but McKay proved that there are still those that can hammer A strings as effortlessly as they breathe. Their show was far and away the highlight for me.

Now, let me digress here and re-touch on the “fuckwit” security guards. There were signs on the stage explaining that if you were to crowd surf, you would be kicked out. We understood this, and most of us were well behaved. There were, however, a few lads with a bit too much beer in their bellies who decided it would be a real swell idea to do it anyway. While a 7” tall behemoth of a Security guard was standing a few metres away.

The result was this: the security guards, instead of calmly waiting after the show, proceeded to push past everyone in their path to get the wrong-doers, causing even more unrest in the mosh. Three times the same fucking bald, thick-necked bouncer nearly bowled me over during his pursuit of the alleged crowd surfer. Those who were O'Ball attendees, you'll know the one, the one that looked like this:

It was when they kicked a guy out AND his girlfriend, purely by association, that people were getting a fair bit sick of these assholes. The girlfriend got her revenge though – by drunkenly running on stage with a lopsided smile of triumph on her face. We cheered. “Don’t kick her out, please,” McKay sighed after the Bald Brigade set off to chase her. Cunts.

Hit 10pm, Melbourne indie-pop sweethearts Little Red rolled onto the stage for the final set of the night. Festooned in hats, Hawaiian leis and Raybans, their cavorting guitar licks and upbeat vocal duets were the perfect way to end the evening. After recovering from the headbangs during Children Collide’s set, the punters were now ready to wind down and and swagger to Little Red’s funky tracks. Highlights included the ever-so-catchy bass lines of It’s Alright and “I feel like I’m in love with yooou, it’s truuuue,” Witchdoctor. After being treated with a hearty applause, the lads left the stage, the crowds set off to Electric Light for the afterparty and the beer supplies exhausted. O’Ball 2009 had officially come to a close.

Or so we thought, enter Ridiculous Security scenario II. Who would have thought walking out of a University would be so hard. They’d not only stationed a guard at every exit in the University to stop punters walking through them, leaving North Terrace the only outlet, but refused to let anyone back into the venue to use the bathroom. When we inquired as to why, we were simply met with a rather rude insinuation involving bushes. Hmf.

After we finally escape from the fucking University, my dB magazine editor, myself and his two friends somehow end up in a car with bottles upon bottles of vintage wine. Yep. Thirty minutes later we've made it back to the afterparty at Electric Light hotel where the singer of Children Collide and the singer of the Cassette Kids are mid-pash. Epic. It's Sez's birthday tonight, but I can't find her ANYWHERE! (She later finds me, nearly in a coma on a couch. Woo) Memory of the night starts to get a little hazy from here, but let's say my night ended stumbling to a taxi rank and drunkenly laughing in line as two 40+ men get into a punchup over a cab. Stupid white people.

1 comment:

Spoz said...

Aaaaah the Cassette Kids.. a guilty pleasure, almost embarassed to admit I liked 'em when I saw them back in November. Damn that cute blond out front with her crazy tousled peroxide hair and her shiny tights bouncing about.. I think she's channeling more Deborah Harry from Blondie than anything.. it barely comes close to a fullblown Karen O.. but still.. *sigh*.

As for Children Collide, definitely a band to see live, getting ground to a pulp in the pit.. Triple J's high rotation just never do them justice.. not till you see them throw their guitars about (it was really insane when they played Rocket.. I think they're playing it again in the next few months?)