On Sunday afternoon, I caught the train out into the city and got off at Parliament station, making my way across to Brunswick Street in Fitzroy and attend a gig at Bar Open. My original plan was to go to the first show at the Karova Lounge in Ballarat and stay there overnight. But unfortunately it was pretty unrealistic seeing how I couldn’t even afford my own accommodation let-alone food and petrol. It was a great plan and perhaps one day I will end up visiting Ballarat for a whole weekend but now is not a great time.
So thank god I had a Plan B: Whilst Fitzroy is not exactly around the corner from where I live in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, at least it’s more accessible and the Sunday gig is on during the day as opposed to late at night. I decided to have lunch beforehand at The Coffee Club Australia at Casey Central Shopping Centre with my parents. I ordered the calamari with chips and salad. I was a little anxious about the time as I knew how long the commute to Fitzroy would be today especially with replacement buses on my train line.
Thankfully there wasn’t a long wait between the trains and replacement buses (Express from Westall to Caulfield) but it still took me around 1.5 hours or so to get to Parliament station. The overcast weather with sunny periods looked deceiving and it didn’t take long for the showers to start pouring down. Luckily I brought along a poncho which I whipped out whilst walking along Nicholson Street towards Johnson Street. I certainly didn’t want to get myself drenched walking to Bar Open this afternoon.
Walking down Brunswick Street, I actually missed the venue completely and ended up running into Charlie Ebonivory and Jake Ewings who were grabbing some lunch. I doubled back and found it. Being my first time here, I was a little unsure as to where the bands would be playing. I took a chance and walked up the stairs, finding the door girl outside the band room.
Being a small venue, it didn’t take long for the space to get really stuffy. It took me a few minutes to get my bearings and I started recognising people. It felt good knowing that I wasn’t the only one experiencing social anxiety and awkwardness around people. It’s a barrier I’m still trying hard to overcome. The usual thoughts entered my brain (What should I say? What if they don’t recognise me? What if I make a fool of myself? What if I trip over my words?).
But I still managed to put myself out there a little, even for a few minutes. It was better than nothing. I was really excited to meet the guys from Ebonivory and Hara Kiri plus I met a couple of band members from Future Static and Parkwood AU. Being a very positive and friendly environment certainly helped and so I did feel safe and included today. There’s nothing wrong with being shy and introverted. I’m still supporting the local music scene either way.
FUTURE STATIC “You’re a little too late. Gotta fight for what I need to keep going. Try to find the sun while still knowing. It’s a long way down. I’m too far down.”
I believe the last time I caught this Melbourne-based Alternative/Pop-Punk band was at Wrangler Studios sometime last year. They opened this afternoon’s show up with plenty of fierce, bouncy energy and a few laughs between lead vocalist Bri Marsh and bassist/backing vocalist Kira Neil. It’s really great to see that female-led bands are now breaking out and becoming a dominant force in the local music scene. Check out the band’s recently released EP Want: https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/want-ep/1360803719
Set List: Daylight, Crawling Back, Too Far Gone, Want, Hits Home.
HARA KIRI “You gave up along the way. It’s like you never cared at all. Love to you was child’s play. Hid your heart behind cold walls. So I’ll say goodbye enjoy the rest of your life because I don’t need you in mine.”
Believe it or not, it was my first time checking out this Albury-based Melodic Metalcore band despite wanting to see them play for about a year or so now. They certainly put on a very wild performance today with lead vocalist Ralph Brown screaming his lungs out into the wall, the floor and the crowd. This was balanced out by guitarist/backing vocalist Jason Groenveld, rocking his locks like a young Bob Marley (Yeah man!). Their relentless energy on stage is really infectious and I was so glad that I was able to see them live today. Check out their EP called Judgement here: https://harakiriau.bandcamp.com/releases
Set List: Child’s Play, Fact & Fiction, Despise, Judgement.
PARKWOOD “And if you ask me, I am in no way sold on the idea. That there are ghosts and there are souls. But one day I’ll die and maybe I’ll know. But until then I’ll love what’s close to home. That is my friends, that is my home.”
I remember seeing this Melodic Metalcore band opening at BANG! last year and for some reason, they weren’t really grabbing my attention. Perhaps I was really distracted by my thoughts at the time or wasn’t in the best mood. But ultimately I dismissed them far too quickly. Today’s performance blows that first impression right out of the water. They had so much passion on stage that it was difficult to turn away (though poor Sam Bianco cutting his finger and bleeding over his guitar). Their songs are tremendously personal and I could easily connect with them on an emotional level. Be sure to check out their debut EP “Close To Home” here: https://parkwoodau.bandcamp.com/album/close-to-home
Set List: Four Years, Lose Yourself, Back to Me, Goodbye.
EBONIVORY “I broke myself. I want my old life back. I lost my sense of purpose. You tell me You tell me I’m wrong. I find comfort in the selfishness of the things we ask ourselves. I find comfort in the uncertainty. That we might be dead or might be waking up.”
It’s been a few minutes (3 years in fact) since I last saw the Progressive Metal/Experimental Rock juggernauts from Ballarat live. Today was the first time seeing them since their new line-up which consists of Connor McMillan, Aidan Simpson and David Parkes. It’s always such a pleasure listening to their songs, which were originally intended for a studio setting and now expanded into a live one. It honestly feels like you’re going on a journey with them.
Lead vocalist Charlie Ebonivory is a wunderkind and a wizard in both his gorgeous angelic vocals and solid musical production. It was amazing seeing people in the crowd huddling around Charlie and singing along with him. Whilst it’s tough going past Ebonivory’s debut album “The Only Constant”, it’s good to see the band continuing to develop their sound and release new music. Check out their latest single “Hanmer Street” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjoEwtWygG0
Set List: Hanmer Street, A Colour I’m Blind To, The Space Between, Swineheart, Silent Sirens, Light The Fires.