"Don't even.... don't even"...... Aah, the catch cry of a lovely Newcastle lass, wearing but only a few scraps of material and some high heels that would intimidate the most accomplished drag queen, being hoisted over the shoulder of a boy who's visible arse crack could easily hold more than a dozen pens. Don't get me wrong, venturing back to my hometown for a night out always fills me with joy, but wow.... did i feel overdressed! Anyway, enough of the talk about the Panthers clientele. Each to their own, Sally. Each to their own.
Newcastle Panthers (I still call it Newcastle Workers Club - force of habit). Have you been there? It is quite the soulless establishment. Downstairs is like a giant room with the odd partition and approximately a quarter of it taken up by poker machines; sport on every channel and a delightful display window where you can choose from a range of fabulous prizes if you spend several squillion on the poker machines.
Now i hadn't seen a live show at the place since a certain Hoodoo Gurus / Spiderbait / Peabody show in.... ooh, had to be about 2004. I admit, i was a bit nervous going on past experience (not to mention the several scary nights i'd had in that auditorium watching various jazz ballet concerts.... yeah, I'll say no more).... let's just say i spent the entire duration of Spiderbait's set waiting in the line for the bar.
So the night was set to see Bluejuice on the big stage (yeah, it's not that big). First though, there were a couple of support acts that i should mention. Right! The first band... well, i didn't catch their name. They looked to be, possibly, a young local band? Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong and you were there. Loud and dirty, couldn't really hear a melody as such, but I must admit i didn't give them a good listen. Maybe next time.
The second band, a band you may be familiar with, were none other than The Holidays. A bunch of guys from Sydney; couple of guitars, keyboards, bass and a percussion section with bongo drums. Nice. Now, when i go and see a band named The Holidays I want to be hearing upbeat and uplifting tunes. I want to feel the urge to dance. Did that happen? Well, yeah... i hope it wasn't the vodka talking, but you may have been able to catch me having a little boogie. Quite calypso in their feel, you might say a tropical holiday-esque feel (you probably wouldn't though). After turning up with only knowledge of their single, Moonlight Hours (have a listen to it on their myspace page, very catchy or just clicky on that there youtube clip), I didn't really know what to expect. I can't say that they have a wealth of different sounding songs, but if you like Moonlight Hours, i guarantee you'll also like the rest of their songs. As far as stage presence was concerned, it was pretty standard. No crazy antics to fire up the Newcastle crowd, but i can't say it was boring. They did succeed in making me feel old, however. The Holidays: Nice shoes.
So, I'm not sure if it was a good or bad thing. Probably good for me (crowd-hater), but not so good for Bluejuice. The auditorium was nowhere as full as i expected it to be (and they'd barricaded off the sides of the room making the area even smaller)... especially based on the fact that the majority of pubs in Newcastle would have closed before Bluejuice went on stage (ie. assumed influx of Good Friday drunkards) ...AND i would have thought Bluejuice would have been right up your average Newcastle persons alley. Not a shabby sized crowd though by any means; and they loved it, which is the main thing. I've never seen a crowd get into the clapping and hand actions to quite the same extreme. It was a bit like a hardcore wiggles concert in that respect.
Adorned in karate uniforms they took to the stage to play every single from their now current album Head of the Hawk as well as quite a few others; all the hits (.... Broken Leg, Ain't Telling the Truth, Vitriol, etc), some old some new. As well as the "hits" there were quite a few new inclusions to the set list. Quite an exciting indication of offerings to come. With the same quantity of energy that you usually get at a Bluejuice show the guys delivered what seemed like about 20 songs with only the odd occasion of microphone disconnection and no injuries to speak of (even with a spot of crowd surfing included).
Special mention also goes out to whoever prepared the lighting/background animal related animations going on during the show (I assume keeping in with the giant animal theme that runs through the album and single art for their current new album Head of The Hawk). Very amusing. Brilliant!
So, you fancy seeing them? Well, there's still a load more tour dates on the list... quite the road trip for anyone with no job and/or a lot of time on their hands:
WEDNESDAY 7 APRIL – ROI BAR, ALBURY
THURSDAY 8 APRIL – EUREKA HOTEL, GEELONG
FRIDAY 9 APRIL – PRINCE OF WALES, MELBOURNE
SATURDAY 10 APRIL – KAROVA LOUNGE, BALLARAT
SUNDAY 11 APRIL – THE SOUNDS LOUD ALL AGES FESTIVAL, MOONEE VALLEY (ALL AGES)
THURSDAY 15 APRIL – ANU BAR, CANBERRA
FRIDAY 16 APRIL – UNI OF TASMANIA, TASMANIA
SATURDAY 17 APRIL – HOTEL NEW YORK, LAUNCESTON
FRIDAY 23 APRIL – HI FI, BRISBANE
SATURDAY 24 APRIL – COOLONGATTA HOTEL, COOLANGATTA
SUNDAY 25 APRIL – GREAT NORTHERN HOTEL, BYRON BAY
THURSDAY 29 APRIL – WOLLONGONG UNI, WOLLONGONG
FRIDAY 30 APRIL – KATOOMBA RSL, KATOOMBA
SATURDAY 1 MAY – PANTHERS, BATHURST
WEDNESDAY 5 MAY – THE GOV, ADELAIDE (ALL AGES)
THURSDAY 6 MAY – NEWPORT HOTEL, FREMANTLE
FRIDAY 7 MAY – PRINCE OF WALES, BUNBURY
SATURDAY 8 MAY – CAPITOL, PERTH
Official website: http://www.bluejuice.info/
That's all for now.