(ME) and Made in Japan – The Raval, Macquarie Hotel 09/03/11

Mmmmm… the Raval, upstairs at the Macquarie Hotel in Surry hills is an intimate space catering to a small amount of people – the lucky few – who were in for a great night of music.

First up on stage was Made in Japan – a slightly awkward all boy quartet whose music could’ve been inspired by a rockier version of the summer surf genre.

Drummer and lead singer James is something to behold. I’m always intrigued by drummers who sing, it’s a level of multitasking that I’m in complete awe of. Keeping the band in time while singing in tune? Mad, absolutely mad skills.

Getting back to the action at hand Made in Japan play music which conjures the sun filled summer irresponsibility of the Beach Boys mashed up with the brisk sun of a winters day rocknroll of The Killers.

It’s the type of music one can image listening to on a road trip out of town windows down, wind in the face, cares tossed to the side Made in Japan on the radio, good friends and good times.

The last song of the evening, Free Sprits, let the four piece end the night on a high in front of family, friends and a sold out show.

Keep your eyes on this young band Made in Japan – on tour later in March and with an album out later this year.

The Ravel – it is a small venue and as such can be overloaded by sound. While the music was loud enough to deafen (c’mon sound engineer you aren’t that old so you can’t be that deaf – shall I send you my bills hearing loss?) The couches and lush surroundings made for a very intimate show case.

The only other thing blighting a perfect night was those people standing up the back talking, while the support band is on. Shut the fuck up. The support act may not be the band you’re looking forward to, and you may have just caught up with people you haven’t seen in ages – but be respectful enough to watch and freaking LISTEN to what’s going on up on the stage. And if you still want to talk? Go down stairs, outside or anywhere else that’s not in the room. If I can hear you over the too loud sound system? Then the band definitely can.

Now on to the main act of tonight [ME].

As I sit here writing the review for [ME] I’m still humming “turn the world around, tomorrow here. Perfect time to run”** Naked is the title track to [ME]’s EP and is part of the goodness that is [ME]s launch to their national tour. When you walk out of seeing them live, i assure you their songs will stick with you.

I just want all of you to go out and if possible see this band live. Even if the sound engineer doesn’t know the high from the low end (or the proper sound levels for the size of a space like the Raval) – you will blown away by the sound of this band, what they produce and the professional slickness of the songs. [ME] perform like a band who’ve been on the road for decades longer than the boys have been around (or even alive). Their sound is more wholesome and full and lusty then a thirsty drunkard down to his last $10.

[ME] are a quartet formed in Melbourne but originated from various parts of the country. From the very first your attention is grabbed with their operatic, arena sized wall of sound. It’s good to see that every member of the band is so incredibly into the music with the stage movements from each member adding an enticing visual quality to the set which keeps you watching and listening just to see how much hair and sweat can be flung about.

Have I mentioned the hair? Drummer Spike Rogers looks like a young Ringo Starr and works harder than the one armed drummer from Def Leppard (which coincidentally is a music comparison I could make – but more on that later)

Singer Luke Ferris is again something to watch. (What is with these multi-tasking guys? New breed I tell you, new breed) Multi-instrumental, singing and moving about the stage like a clean cut Joe Elliot.

Bassist Michael Goode is bare foot and breathless with the songs with a funk like bass line and providing the added extra drumming to quite a few of the pieces.

Ex-Perth boy Damian Tapley is another of the band with fantastic hair, and skills on the axe. Also his drum stick dodging is first rate.

These guys are unapologetic with their music – they play a loud, raucous, musically talented, rhythmically intriguing and interesting live show. From the get go we as the audience are entranced, and told to enjoy an old skool rock show the likes which could be compared to Muse, Queen and as I mentioned before Def Leppard. Any of which would’ve been proud to perform such a show.

Stand out tracks of the night were Naked (title track from the new EP, which you can buy here), Nip and Tuck Me In and the opening 20mins of back to back tracks which seamlessly fit together (all of which I missed the names of).

The music is smart, soaring up with operatic vocals and breaking out into the heaviest of rock that I’ve been exposed to in a long time.

Speaking to bassist Michael Goode after the performance I asked what was next on [ME]’s agenda, Goode informed the band is about to set off on tour with metal-weights Dead Letter Circus in two weeks time (start date, 25th March, Brisbane)

I am so incredibly glad I had the chance to go and see [ME] perform tonight – I feel like I have a secret to share with the entire world and I need to shout it out as loud and for as long and far as I possibly can as these guys are bloody good and will rock your socks just like they did to this confessed DnB, Hip Hop lover and often rock music denier.

So if you’re one of the smart few – get out and see [ME] on their national tour, dates are below. I promise you, you will be blown away.

** Accuracy of lyrics is purely up to my memory and may not have any actual likeness to song Naked

[ME] and Dead Letter Circus National Australia Tour

Fri 25 March, Tivoli, Brisbane

Tickets from here

Sat 26 March, Metro Theatre, Sydney

Tickets from here

Sat 2 April, Corner Hotel, Melbourne

Tickets from here

Sun 3 April, Corner Hotel, Melbourne

Tickets from here

Fri 8 April, Metropolis, Fremantle

Tickets from here

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