Kcavemen, Headkase and Errata at The Pony Bar, Melbourne – Gig review and show photos

June 9, 2010

Gig/Concert: Kcavemen with Headkase and Errata
Venue: The Pony Bar, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Date: 5 June 2010
In One Word: Freakshow!

Headkase at Pony Bar, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 5 June 2010 - photo by Michael Bowser, Music Vice

After hearing that Brisbane-based circus-metallers Headkase had played to an almost empty house in Sydney a couple of nights prior, I shared the band’s anxieties that the same might be true of tonight’s show.  Fortunately Melbourne proved itself the cooler of the two cities with a crowd that, while not exactly massive, was certainly receptive to not only themselves but indeed all three of tonight’s unconventional metal acts.

I’m told that local openers Errata would normally have a sax player in their midst, but tonight they are regrettably sax-less.  They impress nonetheless, being suitably Dillinger-esque with a healthy emphasis on the “jazzy” side of things, begging comparison also to the first two Mr Bungle albums.  They put on a show that is both aurally tight and visually energetic.  A “little birdy” within their ranks informed me afterwards that they have a second EP very much imminent, so expect an interview within these very web pages in the near future.

Headkase play a thoroughly excellent set, as always.  If there’s something they’ve always excelled at, it’s grabbing the audience by the throat and not letting go:  Almost literally at times, in the case of ever-effervescent frontman Nutty, who’s never afraid to get in the face of an audience who aren’t coming right up to him.  They air a couple of new songs which definitely need a little work, but aside from that the band put on a typically rousing performance.  If you like “metal” music with a zany carnival-esque twist don’t miss the chance to catch them live, and do check out their debut album The Worm County Circus: The odds are that you won’t be disappointed!

Kcavemen at Pony Bar, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 5 June 2010 - photo by Michael Bowser, Music Vice
From a photographer’s perspective the “default” headliners, South Australia’s Kcavemen – slated headliners Bronson allegedly absent in favour of a “better offer” elsewhere – are a dream come true. All crazy make-up and flailing hair and fantastically aggressive stage presence.  From a reviewer’s perspective, however, this is heavy music minus the melody and hooks and all those other things we (should) hold so dearly.  Having said that, if you’re the kind of person who requires nothing more from music than “brutality” and wild visuals, then Kcavemen are YOUR band!  Brutal as fuck, yes…aesthetically pleasing, hell NO.  They prove suitably entertaining for a spell, though by their set’s end I find myself looking for other sources of amusement…like making notes for this review in my mobile phone (modern journalism, heh)…

On the whole, though, a good night; and a good venue with good sound (upstairs at The Pony Bar may be small, but in a satisfyingly “cosy” kinda way).  Nice to know there’s still an audience out there for ostensibly “metal” bands willing to push the envelope a little, aurally and/or visually!  And here’s to the mighty Headkase playing to more faces on their remaining Australian tour dates, they really are a band long-deserving of more attention.

© Michael Bowser, Music Vice

Pictures of Kcavemen, Headkase and Errata:

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