Live Reivew: Next Big Thing 2007 – Regional Semi Final

NBT Regional Semi Final
Fri 27th July 2007
Review By Rohan Hewson

Firstly, Desert Radio played first and I missed them, so refer to the state final review the next night where I did. I’m assuming they were as good on Friday as on Saturday, ie: great.

Ashleigh Rodier came all the way from Carnarvon, and unusually for the regional semi, was the only soloist of the night. Apparently a multi-instrumentalist, although the only instrument she played was a guitar… why is it always a guitar? She’s forgiven though, because the songs were good; especially ‘The Last’. Most of the songs were surprisingly personal, coming from a small town where most people know each other. Soloists don’t tend to win this competition, but it doesn’t mean she wasn’t good.

Next up, last year’s grand finalists Bartlett, now with the oldest lead guitarist I’ve ever seen, apparently named ‘Boink’. By the third song, ‘The Footy Song’, it was fairly obvious they wouldn’t win, purely because Perth judges / audiences wouldn’t get the very, VERY rural vibe. However, I’m a country kid myself, and I grew up listening to the Angels and Choirboys, so I liked it anyway. Loud, simple, pub rock that couldn’t have come from anywhere else but the bush. By this stage, Mojo’s was absolutely packed… all the bands’ friends and family together made it quite hard to get to the bar, or anywhere else.

I thought the Spring Collection, from still-apparently-regional Mandurah, were called ‘the Scream Collection’ until I read their correct name on a time sheet, largely due to their fans. Mojo’s was suddenly flooded with black hoodies and teenage screams for their set, which was intensely annoying. Despite this, however, their set was quite enjoyable; the singer’s Bob Log-style microphone helmet should win the ‘best gimmick of the competition’ prize, if such a thing existed. And the music wasn’t too bad either; there was a bit of modern emo-punk style in there to please the kids, but the bluesy Bob Log influence didn’t stop at the helmet. They won the night, and probably deserved to.

The last two bands, Cody Robson from Broome and Aron’s Crusade from Albany, were fairly similar. When Cody Robson started playing, I spent the first song trying to see around the crowd to find the other guitarist; surprisingly, there wasn’t one. Just one guitar and drums, but the two of them got plenty of sound out of them. Aron’s Crusade had the ‘Albany sound’ about them, ie: they sounded plenty like the Waifs. Two acoustic guitars, and strangely, a drummer who looked like he’d be more at home in a punk band. Neither of them placed, but were a nice cruisy way to wind down the night.

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