The Gig: The Bedroom Philosopher with The Boat People and Pinky Beecroft & The White Russians
Where: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
When: 4 September 2010
In One Word: Entertainment!
It’s not always that I arrive in time to catch the first of a three-band line-up, but when an evening’s opener features one of the key members of Aussie legends – fuck me, did I actually just say those two words? – Machine Gun Fellatio, I guess it’s worth the effort and, regrettably, expense…my customary disorganisation costing me a twenty buck cab ride. Fortunately, Pinky Beecroft & The White Russians prove well worth it all. I’d heard it opined, by the frontman himself among others, that his current outfit is a bit more “rock” than his old one…and sure enough, apart from the odd slightly “miserable” number, this band certainly kicks some formidable booty. Not that I have a problem of any sort with miserabilism (viva la Morrissey!), and Pinky has always shown a great talent for holding one’s attention when it’s just him and a keyboard. And while the less-familiar songs certainly strike a chord with yours truly – I too have a “thing” for Scarlet Johansson, in spite of my belief that she’s by and largely a talentless whore…whoops, did I say that out loud? – it’s the rather excellent renditions of “Pussy Town” and Mr. Beecroft’s all-time masterpiece, the gorgeously disfunctional “Unsent Letter”, that best appease we “old fans” in the audience; of which there’s a few, judging by the number of people singing along. Fantastically entertaining from (unintentionally?) bumbling start to (yes, I do believe) abrupt finish, and let me just say, any man who feels the compulsion to bring hand sanitiser on-stage with him is definitely rock ‘n’ roll in my book.
The Boat People amp the “nerdy” quotient up suitably, though unfortunately, it’s not nearly so self-deprecating and endearing this time around. Every bit as pretentious at their stupid name suggests, I have vague recollections of these guys from when I lived up in Brisbane, and understand now why I couldn’t quite remember what they even “sounded” like: Kind of a poor man’s Bloc Party-meets-The Hives-meets any other hit “indie” band of recent years that you care to think of, with the additional “twist” of whiny Australian accents which bring nothing tantalising to this already well-worn table. I mean, the music certainly ain’t half-bad at times, but the lyrics and vocals are kinda tiresome and the stage banter even more so, especially in the witty wake of Mr. Beecroft, a man who oozes awkward charisma no matter how LITTLE he tries. Bad? No. Mediocre? Yes, and fucking then some. All quirky haircuts and “nerd-cool”, without the overwhelming talent to pull it off. But then again, they are awful young, so who knows…uglier ducklings have certainly blossomed into quite beautiful swans. Give ’em time, maybe they’ll even grow a sense of humour.
Now I’ve spoken a tad about nerdiness and awkwardness and whatforth so far, so let me just say this: The Bedroom Philosopher’s Justin Heazlewood must be swimming knee-deep in geek-girl pussy. He does make some quip about having copped a solitary hand-job from some hippie chick in…somewhere or other, but I suspect he’s grossly understating the sordid reality of it all. Let’s look at the facts: He’s talented as buggery, both as a comedian and a musician…and perhaps more importantly, has a helluva “backing band” to, well, back him up. The banter obviously rocks, and the inclusion of a sitar-player ALWAYS rocks…and heck, the fact that Mr. Heazlewood’s appearance and speech bear more than a passing resemblance to a good friend of mine doesn’t necessarily hurt to seal the deal of my being somewhat enamoured with him (in a non-gay, respect-for-another-man kinda way, of course). His rapport with the audience is largely flawless – though some harsh words between himself and a very “blokey”-sounding heckler does have me fearing a little for his safety at one point! – but in a room full of fellow “geeks” he ultimately goes down a treat. Brilliant stuff.
All up, a highly entertaining night out, it’s just a shame about them humourless motherfuckers in the middle pooping the party somewhat.
© Michael Bowser, Music Vice