Live Review: All The Weathers, Sweatheat, #Trampoline, Pus, Summer Flake, Bitch Diesel

18 October 2016 | 12:03 pm | Bradley Armstrong

"A massive line-up of make 'em and break 'em little bands."

It's absolutely shit outside, it's a Sunday, doors are at 5pm... There are a lot of deterrents to not go out tonight. But the few that said "fuck it" are treated to an absolutely joyous occasion for the underground Hobart and Melbourne scenes. As no matter how many big names pop up, we'll always have the 'little bands'.

A gig for All The Weathers that spiralled out of control with a massive line-up of make 'em and break 'em little bands taking over a once normal Tote arvo. The atmosphere feels like Hobart's Brisbane Hotel vs The Tote, both of which are undoubtedly the breeding grounds for tonight's talented wanderers. A Hobart Little Bands film starts off the night upstairs while Primo are a welcome free addition in the front bar. Kicking off the bandroom and making their Melbourne debut are Hobart's cult icons, the one and only The Harrison Forward, a name known to many a mainlander who's has attended Dark Mofo or MONA FOMA. After pitching their "Battler Assistance Grant", which comes with the huge cheque at the front of stage (valued for "lots"), the performance itself is Alexander Can-like drumming away to an endlessly repeating synth loop. Over the top Kieran Sullivan charismatically reads, in full, a speech by politician Wyatt Roy from a bulky A4 document. After the 20-some-minute 'performance' the two deliver pitches for their surprisingly well-thought out pyramid scheme at the side of stage in exchange for a pair of knock off RayBans. The cult clearly gets deeper.

Upstairs the Melbourne Little Bands start strong. Dog Box features LB Godfather Stuart Grant (Primitive Calculators), Gareth Liddiard (behind a collection of synths and effects, surprisingly) and Georgia Lucy from All The Weathers in addition to randoms having a bash on a drum or a dance as the set progresses. It's loud, hypnotic and actually works really well as a cohesive noise art band. Well Known follow downstairs, and they're a bit more traditional, with a nice garage sound and a solid performance for their first show. Savage have their moments - but yeah, it could be better - while non-LB locals Bitch Diesel give a performance nearly as bold as their name as brash garage-punk sounds feel fresh and intriguing, despite the band choosing to walk down a well travelled road when it comes to their genre. 

There is not really any downtime and, when there is, bands just pop and form with whoever is about and all of a sudden you're watching the magnetic retelling of someone getting stuck in between two cars with a dumpster-dived sausage roll.

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Summer Flake are perhaps the most established billed band and, as per usual, they're simply  great to watch and listen to. Steph Crase's voice and guitar playing feel so effortless as they venture through more of the rock-based material of latest high quality LP Hello Friends. The only downside is that the band don't get a bit more set time to play with.

Pus sees Grant up again with Wade Black and they deliver a dark and loud noise-driven set complimented by an excellently sarcastic verse from Grant. It's #Trampoline's debut and as the name suggests, this band are centred around a small trampoline, which is contact-mic'd and runs through about 10,000 pedals on the side of stage (resulting in some amazing sounds -0 like that of an 808, saw-wave synth or taiko). This is played by the group's vocalist who nearly puts her head through the stage lighting above with the group's black metal-meets-jazz drummer and other member going ballistic with effects. It all makes for a truly unique performance that wins the night hands down. Sweatheat are made up of members of Clag and they have some good ideas but the performance doesn't really work. 

Rounding out the night is once little band now real band, Hobart's own All The Weathers. They solidly impress and somehow resist making any jokes or, even worse, puns about the un-godlike hell outside. ABC is an early highlight, and from there the band craft lo-fi pop magic that is purely addictive. It gets fast and cutting, it gets slow and tender. They swap instruments and even have horns pop up in the mix. They close with a vocal harmony-led track that can only be described as Solange Knowles meets the Hobart Centrelink office that caps off a quality set.  

So who won the battle? Apparently Gareth Liddiard got Harrison Forward's much sought after cheque. But, essentially everyone in the venue won tonight's musical headbutt. Tonight was a truly special experience for all involved that embraced an old community of ideas and in turn, created a unique experience that will be remembered by all whom experienced it for some time to come.