I read someone’s blog a few months ago. They said they heard a local performer and was surprised how good he was. They said they thought people who didn’t get played on (commercial) radio were no good, but this guy was actually good.
It seems this is not an uncommon thought. For example Bob Evans is now getting played on commerical radio (including 94.5 and sunshine I’m told0 and is pulling big crowds. Well deserved success. He’s pulling big crowds and people love hearing his album songs live.
The odd thing is, performers often perform previews of albums up a to year before the album is released. Quite a few of the songs of ‘suburban songbook’ i heard in early 1995 at a wami show. Also, eskimo joe’s new album is massive. And it costs something like 30 dollars to see them. yet Kav was playing solo shows around Perth for less than ten dollars playing most of the songs from ‘blackfingernails, Red wine’ in the year before it was released.
So I guess the morale of this column today, is don’t wait until a band gets played on the radio, if someone tells you a band is awesome (Like Dee Dee Dums – they were awesome at the swan last night) go and check them out. You don’t need to own an album or hear them on 96fm and fork out 30 bucks and be in a squashed shitty nightclub, to see a good show.
You know those musicians who pop up from time to time, who’ve spent many hours perfecting their craft and seem to appear out of nowhere, fully formed and sounding rather professional?
Enter Jonathan Brain. It’s hard to put a convenient tag on this man’s music (a good thing, I’d argue) but I’ll have a stab at it anyway. “Billy the Kid” sounds to these ears like a singer-songwriter with a country-ish twang and alternative sensibilities. Opening track “Billy the Kid” manages to tell an old, well-worn story with considerably less cheese than Bon Jovi did, with excellent tremelo guitar backing and a tastefully restrained rhythm section.
“Build something” shuffles along nicely like an early Smiths outtake. The other three tracks are more moody and introspective, but work well. The backing music on the whole CD goes for the less is more approach, building atmosphere behind the vocals. Special mention goes to the eerie backing vocals on “Beggar”.
Jonathan Brain’s music won’t be for everyone, but for people who like music that subtly sucks them in, this is good. If I had to offer a criticism, I could say it sounds perhaps too professional, but this is splitting hairs. Good stuff.