OMG! The Thin Kids (LOL) to support Kate Nash in Brisbane!!
Tuesday, August 3
East Brunswick Club, Melbourne
Somehow, we got offered the support anyway, with enough money to cover our flights. Initially, we were offered the opening slot, on the not-unreasonable basis that no one knew who the fuck we were. I hate going on first. If folk are going to hate you, you want it to happen en masse. So I sent an email saying, “Cool and everything, but you might like to know I’ve supported the following artists…”, and listed a dozen world-famous bands. Next thing I know, we’re main support. Maggie, thrown by the fact someone’s taken us seriously, promptly drops out.
M+N went into minor paroxysms at the idea of a Brisbane band being offered a national support [ed. it was more about your band being offered a national support], but what was the alternative? Another crappy Sydney band slavishly imitating the latest Vampire Weekend album in an attempt to get played on triple j? Some bunch of Melbourne hipsters recreating Daydream Nation as imagined by Placebo (again!) for our benefit? Good on Kate for taking a chance, and wanting to stir her audience up, I say … without any bias whatsoever.
The East Brunswick is an ace club: one of the reasons I fell in love with Melbourne in the first place. You don’t get venues like this in the UK, certainly not in Brighton or London. Or Brisbane. Great food, a pop quiz in case you don’t fancy taking a chance on the support band, great ambience, an owner who used to play in the xylophone-led, tumultuous ninetynine and has his own vinyl label, a stage with lashings of … you get the idea. Due to a mix-up over soundchecks I arrive at the venue by myself: useless for the in-house engineer’s needs as the main reason I became a singer in the first place was so I wouldn’t have to worry myself over such trivialities as sound. I meet Kate Nash. She’s lovely. She nicks a Thin Kids set list. I have no idea why. I meet her band. They’re lovely. One of them once sat in a couple of lectures I gave about the importance of being Everett True. I meet her road crew. They’re lovely as well! Two of them are from Brisbane. Man.
Kate tells me about her favourite piece of hate-mail (online, even the most cowardly are afforded a voice). It begins by informing her that she singlehandedly encapsulates everything that’s wrong about music and ends by stating that, “If I ever meet you in person I’m going to shove a bomb up your cunt.” Kate says she really wanted to reply, and go, “Listen you dickhead, if you ever got close enough to shove a bomb up my cunt you’d blow yourself up too.”
The show is … I was going to write “fine” but I didn’t enjoy myself at all. I was embarrassed to be up there, frankly: with Kate standing by the side offering support (she makes a point of watching all her support bands). We start off weird, throwing out the a cappella/noise dynamics of ‘Streets Of Brisbane’ and the full-on mess of ‘Flipper’ and Ramones-simple ‘I Don’t Like What You Like’. The crowd look bemused, not least because Kate introduced us so clearly they’re supposed to appreciate us. Bemused and weird is good. I don’t mind that. It all too quickly degenerates into a sing along joke, though: crowd participation is fine, but do they have to look so closely at me cutting a sadly shambolic, scary old man figure with my hands fiddling round in my pockets and my bottles of water raised high in the air, and do they have to applaud at the end of every song? We wrote several songs specifically for the tour, including ‘When I Moved To Brisbane’ with its daring couplet, “Seattle’s all rainy/Melbourne’s got Dave Graney” and ‘(You’re Not From) Queensland’ with its ‘Hey Jude’-asinine chorus at the end, which folk really do sing along with … and I drop all bar ‘Queensland’ the following night.
My fault. Kate clambers on stage for a shout during ‘You’re Not On The Guest List’, which was rather game of her bearing in mind that a) she’d never heard the song before, and b) she didn’t know I was going to ask her. Still. Pop music isn’t exactly birth control, you know?
Her set is mesmeric – especially the Riot Grrrl/Crass/slasher-fan fiction bit centred around ‘Mansion Song’ towards the end. Seriously.
The Thin Kids sell two CDs.