The Gig: The Barons Of Tang (EP launch) with The Woohoo Revue
Where: East Brunswick Club, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
When: 5 November 2010
In One Word: Rollicking
‘Tis a pity I arrive a little the worse for wear this evening – blimmin’ day jobs – and wearing but ONE of my world-famous dancin’ shoes. For if ever there were a gig that screamed out for an orgy of shameless shin-diggery, this would be it. And that’s just the last two bands (the ones which I manage to catch…my apologies to the earlier two acts)!
The Woohoo Revue sure know how to get a crowd hoppin’ with their relatively traditional, if exceptionally intense and highly spirited, take on the whole “gypsy-jazz” genre. Unlike tonight’s headliners they never quite spill all the way over into “metal” or “punk” territory, but I’ll be damned if they don’t give you just as big a kick in the nuts with their fierce dynamics and dizzyingly energetic stage presence (kudos especially to the violinist herein, who could give any rock ‘n’ rollin’ “axe god” a fair run for their money). A rollicking good time by any sane standards.
The Barons of Tang are a band whose name I’ve heard bandied about once or thrice before, and have for some time been on my “gotta check ’em out one day” list…how fortuitous, then, that the clarinet player for a similarly-sensational outfit called Mamushka (whom I reviewed a ways back) just so happens to be in this band as well (as well as a couple of dozen other Melbourne acts, if a quick peek at the internet is to be believed…busy girl)! Launching an EP tonight, and dubbing themselves “gypsy deathcore”, the Barons are what Mr Bungle may have been if they had less electric instruments and no Mike Patton: Predominantly instrumental folk-jazz with generous dollops of other whacked-out genres such as metal, punk and “circus” music, all seamlessly blended together as if there were nothing remotely heretical about the notion at all.
As if this were not magnificent enough, they even have an upright bass-ist and piano accordion player – both splendid things, I’m sure you’ll agree – and a madwoman of a percussionist who, almost as an afterthought to an already sizzling show, comes centre-stage at the climax to show off a jazzy set of pipes that would make most supposed “frontpersons” in this town blush with embarrassment (a “secret weapon” for future development, perhaps?)! And if there’s one thing that always warms my heart to its very cockles, it’s the sight of people moshing and crowd-surfing – the latter a practice I generally disdain – to music that would make most “rock” purists cringe. Spec-fucking-tacular.
© Michael Bowser, Music Vice
Pictures of The Barons of Tang and The Woohoo Revue: