i like cats + Guests @ Laneway Bar

What a venue! What a gig! If you haven’t checked out the Laneway Bar in Underwood St (Circular Quay) then take a walk through the sandstone alleys to find it. Located under a precarious collection of junk, the bar takes up all of three square metres and will only be around until the end of January. Last night the crowd spilled far into the alley and surrounds, a motley collection of indie kids and Bridezilla groupies dancing away the CBD blues.

Daisy M Tulley was first to take the stage. I’ve heard a lot about this lady, a member of the internationally renowned Bridezilla, and Daisy sure as hell lived up to her rep. Her voice is a light, beautiful wind playing over the top of her guitar melodies, looped on the fly. A few songs in Daisy stopped to inform us that we were a very uncomfortable audience to play for, confessing her out-of-character nervousness. Without the confession all the crowd would have seen was a beautiful songstress laughing at sound problems. The violin was brought out to loop again and all was well. If you like the well-stocked genre known as ‘female singer/songwriter’ you should check out Daisy M Tulley, an original and interesting addition to the shelves.

Next up was Wim, hot off their recording session in LA. The crowd highly enjoyed Wim’s set, dancing and swaying to the pop sounds. The lead singer made excellent use of the open space to move into the first layer of the crowd, dispensing smiles and camraderie. I must say, I don’t quite get this band. A couple of the tracks are excellent, especially the songs that make good use of strings, but overall it seems like a band brought together specifically to create marketable albums. It’s pop music and it’s good, but it’s not particularly unique or overwhelming. Whatever, everyone else loved them so it’s probably just me. Check them out if you can, let me know what you think.

Finally i like cats took their places and readied themselves. This gig was making history, of sorts, being Dylan (Winter People) Baskind’s last show with the band. Dylan left for the USA early the following morning, let’s hope he got some sleep. i like cats are a great band. Progressive and melodic; at times heavy and at times soothing; i like cats have a unique sound that is still evolving. Holding back on the crowd-pleasers, the band first strutted some of their new stuff with a couple of recently worked tracks. I swear I heard some funk constrained by a constant bass rhythm, but it quickly turned into a slam of melody and percussive guitar. Dominic Mercer, cellist, is the icing on this bandcake. His string work pins otherwise chaotic tracks to a melodic constant, or provides a deeper level of disorder to already frenetic riffs. Bill Johnston, drummer, is a madman and we love him for it. Everyone! From Senor Gonzalez on guitar + synth pedals, to Baskind and Rollo Anderson sharing lead guitar and vocals, it is a pleasure to be aurally violated by this band.

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