Gig catch up: Nick Cave, The Clouds, Elefant Traks and Glass Beams

I've gotten a bit behind in my gig reports so here's a big dump of what's happened since May.

Nick Cave

7th May, 2024 at State Theatre

We've seen Saint Nick of Warracknabeal many times over the years in many great venues including the Tate in London and the Sydney Opera House, but there's something special about the State Theatre. It's one of those beautiful, ornate old theatres with ornate gothic mouldings and an intimate feel. Nick playing solo with just bass accompaniment from Colin Greenwood was fantastic and he was clearly enjoying himself.

Oh and on the way home this beautiful autumnal tree presented itself.

The Clouds

25th May, 2024 at Factory Theatre

Another band I've been watching for years, first seeing there in 1992 or so at the Three Weeds in Rozelle. As always, loads of fun, though the band didn't seem so into it this time around.

Elefant Traks 25th Anniversary

26th May, 2024 at Sydney Opera House

This one is tinged with some sadness. Elefant Traks are a record label from the late 1990s who triggered a massive boom in hip-hop in Australia, launching the careers of a bunch of huge acts. Super engaged with politics and building an audience from the ground up, they did huge things. Of course the supergroup The Herd were a massive highlight. I was there at a lot of the early gigs, seeing early iterations of many of the acts up close. They were always such lovely people, humble but hugely talented.

So the sad part is that as well as being the 25th anniversary, this was also farewell from the label which is now going through an orderly shutdown. That's a true loss for Australian music, but the gig was a reflection on all that was achieved and created. A fantastic set in a spectacular venue.

Thanks for all the memories Elefants!

Glass Beams

21st June, 2024 at Factory Theatre

This is an interesting band from Melbourne who've been signed to Ninja Tunes. Most descriptions I've heard make much of their Indian influences but to my thinking their sound is a lot more in the direction of Turkish psychedelia from the 70s.

They're clearly supremely talented but the gig itself was a bit disappointing. They were incredibly tight and disciplined but that kinda made the gig a bit dull. They need to embrace improvisation a bit more I think. The style of music should have more wigging out, solos and craziness.

I'm sure they'll develop in time! They're playing some massive festivals in the Northern Hemisphere this year so they'll have plenty of practice!

Coming up

Lots of exciting gigs in the calendar: Mildlife, Genesis Owasu, Belle & Sebastian, Olivia Rodrigo.
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