Photos: Gigantic @ The Rocket Room (2008-09-20)

Photos: Gigantic @ The Rocket Room (2008-09-20)
Photos by Dylan McArdle

Last weekend saw local power pop act Gigantic launch their 10″ vinyl “On The Verge Of Something Big”. I was lucky enough to get free entry to Saturday’s show at The Rocket Room (a venue I’d never been to before I might add).

Despite a small crowd, the band played as good a set as I’d seen from them and I enjoyed them and also the support from The Four Walls and particularly opening band Generals & Majors.

The Di Renzo brothers now head overseas once again for a string of dates in Japan, Germany, Spain and the USA!


(Click thumbnails for larger photos)

For the complete gallery of photos from the night, please visit:
http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=40308&l=b1072&id=586678946

Live Review: Rocket Science @ Norfolk Basement (2008-09-12)

Live Review: Rocket Science @ Norfolk Basement (2008-09-12)
Review/Photos by Dylan McArdle

Some bands come to down with a lot of hype, and other bands…well they make their noise on-stage. I’ve been a big fan or Melbourne rock band Rocket Science for a long time and as such I was eagerly awaiting last weekends shows, especially after hearing the new album.  And they didn’t disappoint.

It’s always nice to walk into the venue and instantly hear some you like and that was the case on Friday night at the Norfolk Basement when opening act The Shake Up had already taken the stage.  Sure, they are a no-frills punk/garage rock band, but they were very catchy and entertaining.  The boys looked like they were enjoying playing and didn’t care if the crowd was still kinda sparse.  It was nice to see some dancers in the crowd share the bands on-stage energy.  I would have bought their two track CD if they were selling it minus their T-shirt, but luckily for me their downloadable from their MySpace site.  Definitely a band I’ll look to check out again.

Tame Impala are one band making some noise over in the west and it was no surprise to see them on the bill now they are signed to Modular Records.  Once a side project of fellow up-and-comers Mink Mussel Creek, these guys are now a formidable act in their own right.  They not only have the retro look (almost to match the surrounding they were in), but the sound too and just that right amount of reverb coming through the speakers.  And they’ve been around long enough to sound polished and the building crowd appreciated this.  Singer Kevin Parker has a really great voice. As usual, they left their best track (Half Full Glass of Wine) ’till last and I know these boys have a bright future ahead of them (especially with a debut release coming up).

Kevin Parker - Tame Impala
Kevin Parker – Tame Impala

Roman Tucker - Rocket Science
Roman Tucker – Rocket Science

Now I’ve seen Rocket Science plenty of times before so I knew what to expect.  Crazy vocals and stage antics from lead singer Roman Tucker and powerful keyboards set them apart from other rock bands, not to mention the theremin as well.  But it’s been a while since they’ve last toured and to be honest Roman has stepped his performance up, a lot.  I don’t think I’d seem him leave his post behind the keyboard much, but this time when he wasn’t playing he was strutting his stuff at the front of the stage and off stage too.  I guess there’s nothing like a bit of crowd venturing and Roman did this during Six Foot Four early in the set and later on he let loose on Modern Life.  It was easy to see why he was sweating so much, and I’m actually quite surprised he didn’t hurt himself.  He did manage to tear a whole in the arse of his pants though!

With such a showman up front, the rest of the band kinda pales in comparison but it is important to note that there was a new guitarist on stage – Micky Heartbreaker. He may have only being playing in the band 3 or 4 weeks but he looked like an old hand and considering he’s been playing with Kit and Roman in side project The Ransome Brothers.

As with any good album tour show the band played the best of the new record and the best of what they previously had to offer – and there was no differing from the formula here.  It was a thoroughly good set, high on energy and intensity.  After the hour or so set there was an encore – short but sweet with a couple more songs that had some of the crowd asking where On Robot was.  For me – my ears hurt, my feet were sore and I’d sweated heaps more than I’d like but bloody hell I’d enjoyed myself.  This was one of the best live sets I’ve seen this year, not quite as good as Shihad @ Capitol a couple of weeks back but not far off.  It was a worthy performance from a band that’s earned their reputation as a mighty fine live band.

Interview: Gigantic

Gigantic Interview

What is the new vinyl release about?

Smashed Records is a cool independent power pop/ garage label based in the Gold Coast that we’ve had contact with over the last couple of years. Rohan Belton who heads the label approached us about doing a limited edition vinyl release and we were aware that Smashed has had a lot of success overseas with their vinyl. So we are really excited about having our first vinyl release! The disc is a 10 inch picture disc titled “On the Verge of Something BIG” and all the copies have been individually autographed by Paul and I.

Is it a new release or a single off the previous album?
The tracks on the 10 inch do appear on the Gigantaphonic Sounds album but it is the first time they have been released on vinyl. And we hope in time the vinyl release will become a bit of a collectors item. It has already been chosen to appear in a rare vinyl museum in Belgium.

You completed an international tour earlier in the year. What positives came out of it? Where was your favourite country to play?
Yes in February and March we played a stack of shows in Europe and the USA, including an appearance at the SXSW Festival which was awesome. It was great to finally get out there and do it and to meet a lot of the band’s overseas supporters face to face. Our favourite shows were in Spain because the fans were just so into it. We even had four fans from Madrid fly over and follow us for some of the US dates. And the Neo Winery in Aranda De Duero, Burgos has produced a limited edition Gigantic wine with us on the label.

Where is Gigantic having the most success as a band?
As mentioned earlier, Spain is where we’re enjoyed the most success. In Spain we are signed to Barcelona based Bip Bip Records who have done a great job of introducing us to Spain and we’ve had a lot of support from indi and national radio and television. We’re really grateful for everybody’s support over there and we can’t wait to get back to play some more shows.

What lays ahead in the next year for Gigantic?
Well we’ve got the BIGGER! BETTER! STRONGER! World Tour that we are about to kick off with shows lined up in Australia, Japan, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, Spain and back to the USA a second time on that tour. We’re really excited about playing the POPKOMM Festival in Berlin and the CMJ Music Marathon in New York and getting back to Spain.

We’ve had a busy couple of years of steady touring in support of the last few releases. I think we’ve toured Australia five times, we’ve toured New Zealand and this will be our second big international tour this year so after this tour we are going to take a long break from playing live to work on new material and new recordings.

How do you see the Perth music scene after touring to other countries?
I think the Perth music scene stacks up pretty well. There is a lot of talent here and it is relatively easy for bands to play shows. In countries like Japan and the US, there is a lot of pay to play so for bands without labels, it can be pretty tough. Whilst these days our success is greater overseas than it is here and we don’t play in Perth as often as we used to, we really enjoy playing local shows with like minded bands. And it’s often a great way to check out some local talent as there are usually two or three other acts on the bill for us to enjoy as punters.

What’s the average day like for you as a touring band overseas?
There’s often a good few hours of waiting around at an airport or some other form of travel. Then get into town, find the hotel and maybe duck off for a radio interview or something. Then to the venue for sound check, grab a bite to eat and wait around for the most fun part, playing the show! Because of the travel element, there’s a fair bit of hanging around on tour which can be a real drag but when you get to play your shows it’s all worth it.

What do you miss about home, when on the road?
The main thing I miss is sleep because I don’t sleep so well on planes and trains and on tour there is not often an opportunity for a good nights sleep. You have to learn to squeeze in a couple of hours here and there. And touring overseas earlier this year, I found I really missed the good old Aussie meat pie. When we were in Spain, I tried very hard to describe to our Spanish tour manager what a meat pie was to see if he could assist in finding one or something similar in Spain but he just looked at me really strangely and had not idea what the hell I was talking about!

http://www.myspace.com/giganticau