Live Reivew: Next Big Thing 2007 – State Final

NBT State Final
Rosemount
Sat 28th July 2007
Review by Rohan Hewson

Desert Radio, a two piece from Dunsborough, played first up for the second night in a row; the timing gods hadn’t smiled on them obviously. Anyone who didn’t get there early missed out, though; they played upbeat, surfy, bluesy songs, like a mixture of Black Keys and the Cruel Sea, and did it excellently. One band that definitely should have placed.

The Bullet Holes didn’t get through their semi, but got the wild card into the final. How they didn’t get through instead of the Chemist is a mystery to me; those two bands weren’t too different, but the Bullet Holes were streets ahead in terms of songs and just flat out rocking; the Chemist were good enough, but didn’t grab me as much. And the Bullet Holes got robbed again, not placing at the end of the night. Surely this band deserved better. Ah well, them’s the breaks I guess… there are only so many places.

The HowlinNovocaines ain’t gonna win any prizes for originality, that’s for sure. They make up for it with their crazy frontman, though, which is more than likely how they came third. The music was little-to-nothing new, but damn it, they were fun to watch. When you can’t sound original, at least look it… they pulled that off OK.

Will Stoker and the Embers had been previously quite impressive in the heats, but played a fairly loose, slapdash set on the night, which was somewhat disappointing. The Spring Collection played a very similar set to the previous night, except their fans were much less annoying this time… maybe drowned out in the larger venue. They didn’t place, but did win an award for best headgear… no, I kid. It was the songwriting award.

As for the Harlequin League, playing last once again, they could have phoned in their set and still probably won it. Between their own gigs, and members playing in Mile End or 2005 winners the Fault (who they sound a lot like), they were the most experienced band of the night, and it showed – they’ve played these songs a lot before. It looks like this band are going places. Congratulations to them and all the bands.

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