Homebrand – The Annandale Hotel, 25th January 2009

Homebrand organisers, Tim Appleby and Meg Vierboom, should be bloody proud of themselves. Setting out to organise and promote an event that was intended not only to support local music, but also to continue on a long-term basis as the festival of choice for up’n’comers, this Sunday afternoon was to musicheads what a bakery is to a fatkid.

It was the early evening set from Modular’s newest darlings, Tennis, that brought the crowds – and the trendy KOL necklaces – in droves. As much as they postured and pouted on stage, however, their short and sharp riffs (and haircuts!) proved that Modular truly have moved on from a more electro focus. “We’re bringing indie back, what?!” Grievances must be aired however torwards punters who came fo this one set and immediately left post-act – go on, support local music that isn’t signed to the trendiest label around, it won’t hurt you!

Warhorse played an unusually ferocious set, even compared to their usual style of intensity, with a return of one of their older charismatic bass players blending nicely with the angry energy of their sound. “Saigon,” a song based around systematic guitar strums and a pulsating drum riff remains one of their stronger songs. But it was Fait Accompli who took the gong for the best act at the festival in terms of a harsher, rockier sound – of course. This band continues to be AMAZING. NO kudos however to the drunk punter who decided to stage crash – keep your rock’n’roll in your pants, buster! They even did a cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My.” Cream!

Neil Young was the man on everyone’s lips later in the night – not surpirisingly, two days after BDO! – when Richard in Your Mind frontman (Richie, funnily enough) asked the audience who was a fan. Cheers and cries leapt from the lips of many – before they were told “we’ll, this isn’t his song, it’s mine, I won’t give it to him, but I love him too.” Hmm – thanks. RIYM have been an act on the ‘to-do’ list for a while and a gig combining his esoteric wit, streamers and a closing song of heartfelt romance earned these psych-esque boys a solid ‘tick’!

Devoted Few pulled out all stops and closed the night in a single word – spectacularly. ‘Music’ aside, Fait Accompli and Devoted Few defs the standouts ‘performers’ of the day – oh, how Music Feeds love stage antics! If only the sound of Devoted Few hadn’t dropped out for a full few minutes mid-set – always convenient! Indeed, Homebrand’s relaxed Sunday vibe did get a little too loose at times with a lot of tech issues holding back the full potential of some of the acts – mic’s too low, bass amps too high, and the tendency of the tech to jump on stage a little too readily mid-set did break the whole “performance” vibe at times. The day would have also benefited from a bigger, staying crowd – not just a packed pub for a Modular set! – which is sure to come as Meg and Tim continue to build the name of their radicalesque festivus. Here’s hoping there’s another Homebrand – soon!

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