Squat Club: A Seated Ovation

In a world where whether or not I decide to turn left or right, I find a wannabe rockstar, ego is a dirty word. Working out of the spotlight, you soon learn that musicians are cunts. Lovable cunts, cunts none the less. Keep in mind, as quiet and seemingly unassuming as I am, I have a massive ego and a lot of pride and quite frequently not an ounce of confidence to back it up. This is often worse. Diatribe over. Yet this makes it doubly exciting to write of Squat Club. Self described as, “randomly thrown together, thoughtless, directionless prog wank” it’s clear that this group don’t take themselves too seriously and possess an interest in music goes beyond the stage. If I agreed with the above sentiments voiced by drummer Evan (of Captains, Shirlow and Forenzics), I wouldn’t bother with writing at all now would I?

With the prog rock sector of Sydney’s music scene finding its place among the gig going public, we take a look at an eccentric 4 piece that recently rocked the Annandale at Feather Fest ’09 and played their final show at Hermann’s on the 8th Jan before entering what will hopefully be a brief hiatus.

Forming 8 months ago, Squat Club is an amalgamation of musicians from various other projects. In their short duration of existence they have already played three festivals. The previously mentioned Feather Fest, hosted by the Bird’s Robe Collective, the Cakehole Festival and Peats Ridge. The last of which needs no further footnoting of significance for most of us involved in the music scene.

With an album set to be mixed, mastered and released later in 2009 and enough acclaim and talent to have penetrated the festival scene, you’d wonder why it’s ended after less than a year. Tim (also of Ebola) simply says they kicked Evan out of the band. At this declaration Josh “Lamp” Ahern (also of Brass Knuckles) then attempts to take all the credit for kicking Evan out, leading Tim to then fire Lamp while guitarist/vocalist Josh Head (of Shirlow and Anklepants) enters into some sort of ridiculous discourse about having to look into Evan’s face for far too long, before FINALLY Evan delivers the cold hard facts. “I am going overseas for a few years and besides I kicked the others out of the band, man.” Quite an amusing sketch.

Speaking candidly of gigging in Sydney in comparison to elsewhere Lamp relates, “One of the unfortunate things in Sydney is that due to a combination of bogus red tape legislative bullshit, urban sprawl and the great distance between cultural centres within Sydney, there isn’t a large amount of people who will go to many gigs in Sydney in one night. The good thing about having these conditions here is that it has produced a pretty decent underground scene. Some of the best gigs I’ve ever seen in Sydney have been illegal warehouse parties or just generally rogue gigs put on in the spirit of sending a big ‘fuck you’ to all the restrictive bullshit we’ve faced compared to other cities in Australia”. Some food for thought, some stone truths and fierce, passionate opinions whether you agree or not.

Playing their last Bird’s Robe Collective gig for the time being, the turn out at Hermann’s Bar was indicative of two things. Firstly, a good half of the local prog/experimental scene was there in support, denoting their influence in such a short period of time. Secondly, with all the members sitting onstage they proved they can still rock a house to knees in an explosion of obscure riffery and thunderous drums. Squat Club indeed. Evan, you suck! Come back and sit for us again soon. Safe Journey.

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