Babaganouj + Some Jerks @ Trainspotters, Brisbane 25.01.15
I’m gonna have to bluff this one.
Happy. This music makes me happy. Reassured – that there are still bands are out there, who still believe. Reaffirmed – that it ain’t all for nought. Re-energised – cos there ain’t nothing like going into a dead city Saturday night and finding yourself in a dead city bar surrounded, buffeted by glorious noise and thudding drums and beery bonhomie. Sometimes, all you want is that loudness, that reassurance. (I nearly used the word coruscating there, you’ll have to excuse me.) Friendship and community provided by bands. The sense of belonging to some weird group of outcasts and outsiders, most of whom don’t even speak to each other. The drums pounding a rhythm to the brain. The singer screaming and, unable to help herself, screaming. The odd segment of doo-wop and 60s girl group melancholia thrown in among the drums and dark Gothic undertones. (Overtones? I prefer the undertones.) Feedback and laughter and hidden emergencies. Sometimes, all this is enough. The knowledge it’s still out there waiting. Livin’ the dream.
Some Jerks look like the picture below. So do many of my dreams.
Happy. This music makes me happy. Delirious, in one way. Reassured. It’s like stepping back through a time portal into the Fulham Greyhound circa 1990 (pre-the grunge explosion) and being buffeted by waves of glorious, glorious blood-red noise. It’s like stepping into a pub in Brisbane circa 2015 (post-retirement) and being lashed, beautifully, with waves of glorious, glorious blood-red noise and boy-girl harmonies. It’s like losing your heart and being whirled round on the spot, simultaneously. With some bands, song titles are enough. Babaganouj have one, and it’s called ‘I Can’t Stop Thinking About You’ and it’s Ramones good, fucking Dinosaur (without the Jr) good. As great as See Gulls or Hospitality, or any one those other wonderful searing bands from now. Guitars that topple over from the weight of their own succour-punch guitar solos. Melodies that fight one another in their urgency to be heard. Dancers that draw great loops with their arms in their air, and bounce like my three-year-old on the balls of their feet. Babaganouj have one, and it’s called ‘I Can’t Stop Thinking About You’ and I better be careful here. Man, I am so glad Harriette did not do her whole transformation thing into a blushing rock star while she was still in my Entertainment Industries class. Can you imagine how embarrassing that would have been for both of us? I have warmed to Charles, the way Charles has clearly warmed to some of my old friends and… reassurance. That’s the word I’m seeking here. Reassurance that life is love is friendship is fun is music.
Of course, Babaganouj (pictured at the top – and most my other dreams look like that) have more than one, and I’ve reproduced some below. There’s that ridiculous charmer ‘Too Late For Love’ – the one that should have topped the triple j Hottest 100 – and I’m side-swiping the air during this one. Male takes lead. Female takes lead. Guitar powers in. Ruby smiles over her Telecaster. Jack thumps some rhythm to the brain. Melodies and harmonies go crazy-good. The whole world spins upside down. It feels so good, so comforting being here tonight among familiar music and unfamiliar faces. This is what I’ve always understood by music. You go out, you hug yourself in your loneliness and isolation, you miss your alcohol and then you see a band and you fall in love again.
Ain’t it always that way?
Of course of course, Babaganouj don’t just have those two. ‘Bluff’ is sweetness and light and melancholy helplessness. (I have no idea if they played it, just makin’ an observation.) And all the others.
Beautiful. Wonderful. Reaffirmation right here in the heart of Brisbane.