Sunday, April 11, 2004

My new housemates have a concept band. It's called Young Professionals. On Friday night I went to see them perform at this party at IRENE, a warehouse space in Brunswick which my housemates described to me as "artists' studios," but which I already knew as the home of Barricade, the anarchist collective. Ben H used to be a member of Barricade, and the way he described the paradox of organised anarchism, it sounded a little like Fawlty Towers. So I was very dubious about this party.

My housemates are all very tall and thin and glamorous and exponents of op shop chic, and at home they like playing stuff like Le Tigre and David Bowie. They had been practising like demons in preparation for this gig. So I was very intrigued to see what Young Professionals were like. Trouble was, I was still suffering from Thursday night's binge-drinking and bar-crawling. It had begun at St Jerome's at 5pm and proceeded after about five Carlton tinnies to Kitten Club, a switch to Kirin, enormous queue outside Cherry, Honkytonks, more Kirin, Double Happiness, a switch to Tsing-Tao and much to Tash's excitement, a sighting of David Wenham (she was a Diver Dan fan), Ding Dong Lounge, a switch back to old faithful Carlton (but what a shit, shit, shit venue! I liked it so much more when it was the International and they played funk music on fridays and the homies descended upon it on Wednesdays as part of Melbourne's designated "hip hop scene", yo check it Tony Mitchell I am down wit da old skool subkulcha) and finished around 3am at Hungry Jacks, where every drunk in the CBD had congregated to yell and throw chips at each other.

So Friday I was not feeling tip-top. Plus I was feeling miserable for reasons that you can probably guess and are bored of hearing about. Just this week he said something that made me realise I have become the dreaded Just Friend. Oh that makes me sad. And furious. And jealous. Mostly sad though. But anyway.

So my housemates were playing at midnight, so I rock up on the dot and find the place packed. Cos it's Good Friday and everyone is hurting bad from there being no pubs or bottlos open and IRENE has a really cheap and illegal bar. The group organising the night is called Pop Opera and the night was the Passion Pop Opera and yay! they had Passion Pop. The sad thing is that even my teen brother has grown out of drinking Passion Pop but I still buy it on occasion. And an even bigger tragedy is that I was driving so I could only have one drink.

Now it was a really huge and kick-arse party, and everyone was dressed in crazy outfits that made me so excited even to look at them. One chick was dressed as a peacock, she had the feathers and everything. Another one had a huge crinoline skirt, another one had a fetish corset that made her tits look really odd, but at the same time really alluring. I wished I was feeling up to the occasion. I had come by myself so I had nobody to talk to. I thought I recognised a few people, like Rory, who I did honours with and was also in Felicity's production of Hippolytos, and Shane's friend Texta who I saw Honey with, but was too intimidated to approach any of them. After wandering about aimlessly for a while I found my housemate Chimere. She said they were just about to go on.

They had decided against stage costumes but they were all tricked out in vintage glam. Chimere was wearing black leggings with foolish fairytale boots and a blue satin camisole open at the sides to reveal a black lacy bra. Hannah was wearing what looked like an 80s prom dress with a chiffon train, cut off to turn it into a minidress, with blue fishnets and white 80s high heeled sandals. Lorelei was wearing a vaguely 60s looking red dress with a keyhole in the front that basically showed her entire breasts whenever she turned to the side. And the fourth Young Professional, a previous housemate of theirs whose name I never learned, was wearing leggings too, and a great ridiculous furry Cossack hat.

The performance was anarchic yet entertaining, mainly because of the relaxed way they dealt with all the technical stuffups. Lorelei put it best when she said "We're the Young Professionals! We're really young! And really professional!" The unnamed fourth member played guitar for the duration. Lorelei nominally played bass but she broke a string before she'd played a note and had to pretend to smash it instead. They had a 'drum kit' consisting of a lone cymbal, kick drum and snare. Lorelei and Chimere took turns bashing on those and hitting drumsticks together going "1 2 3 4", cues which the rest of the band repeatedly ignored. And there was a keyboard which Hannah and Chimere took turns playing. All of them sang. And chain-smoked throughout.

My favourite song was their opening number, "Smug Man," which was fucking hilarious, particularly when Lorelei and Hannah had a free-verse conversation about "What do you think Smug Man would buy at Safeway?" and "What would you say if you saw him walking down the street?" "I'd say 'You're so smug, Smug Man!'" Chimere also performed a smoky rendition of their touching love ballad revealing their true obsession with The Darkness, called "Good Morning Justin". And they had a song about dancing that had a really good rhyme with "Take off your pants". And they closed with a cover of "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma". But they didn't come good on Lorelei's impetuous promise to play a cover of "Enter Sandman", which disappointed me mightily. Chimere dedicated one of the songs to me which I found both cool and embarrassing.

I left straight afterwards which I hope didn't seem rude. I just thought I should hit it and quit it rather than hang about not enjoying myself. All in all they have a great act, but the musical side of things was pretty thin. If they can get that together they would be like the Bangles meets Architecture in Helsinki meets Electric Six. Plus it made me realise I'm glad I moved in with them because this was further confirmation I have picked like-minded souls.

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