Live Review: ball park music nantes cub scouts factory theatre

3 April 2012 | 7:42 am | Staff Writer

More Ball Park Music More Ball Park Music

Dubbed the 180º Tour, this gig featured three up and coming bands in a wild, energy-fuelled mini-festival. This night was conclusive evidence that no one – no one – parties like underage kids high on indie pop.

Cub Scouts opened with their distinctive and adorable fuzz-pop sounds. They were disarming and still seemed a little shy despite the enormous throng of under-age punters swarming around their stage despite their early set. No tune could possibly match up to the enormous popularity of Evie – which, perhaps to the immense relief of certain female audience members, turns out to be about vocalist Tim Nelson's dog.

Lyrics like “Open your eyes and see the lies”, three-part harmonies (angsty shout to intense whisper, accordingly) and the potent combination of strange haircuts, attitude and Sonic Youth paraphernalia, Nantes are quickly becoming the bad-arse name in indie rock. The more you hear this band, the more you wonder exactly when they're going to explode. They have a gift to give the indie music scene – badarsery and attitude.

Ball Park Music – wow. Their tunes take one's breath away, with huge indie rock instrumentals, layered neatly over these darkly honest, self-deprecating lyrics. The gorgeous vocals of Jennifer Boyce (who introduced a Leukaemia Fundraising opportunity by saying boldly, “So, I shaved my head.”), the cute, driving keys (and trombone) of Paul Furness, the chunky bass of Dean Hanson and the drums of his brother Daniel, and the guitar prowess of Brock Smith is a recipe for a ridiculously addictive sound.

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And then there's frontman Sam Cromack. He looks to the entire world like a nice boy, the kind your grandmother might approve of. But when he announces songs about “having a good wank” or “murdering your ex-girlfriend” – and with a performance style that seems to borrow heavily from the choir conductor in The Vicar Of Dibley – you know that here is a guy whose lyrics will teach you more about living in this “sad rude future” than all your teachers put together.

The band dropped a few new tracks, including Pot Of Gold, with its beautiful strings and vocal introduction, its shimmering cymbals and that trademark, self-depreciating Ball Park Music wit in each lyric (“I used to be just like you/ I did the things I liked to do/ Now I do what I'm told”), which was a quick crowd favourite. They covered their entire debut album and closed with a high-energy rendition of It's Nice To Be Alive, and it was impossible to control the surge of elation that the song brings, especially when the band dropped streamers and confetti from the rafters to finish.