"The Crane are still bloody great."
The good news is that the Crane are still bloody great.
Their new album Scoundrels is not peak Dallas, but it’s still full of the types of riffing long absent from stages dominated by young guns playing post-post-post-everything music. The show at NSC was a breathless no-frills showcase that crammed a lot into an hour.
Sydney veterans The Holy Soul opened with a salvo of grit and wry venom, including weirdo gems like There’s A Hair On The Soap, a gruelling four minutes of noise capped off with the sensational coda “and it reminds me of you!” Their more approachable stuff was equal parts agro pub-rock and catchy garage. Their drummer in particular, Kate Wilson, sounded great. Simple patterns can hide great drummers; her work, while being spartan, was airtight. Walking in on their more anarchic moments you’d be forgiven for dismissing them as fringe misfits, but when they hit their stride they were pretty powerful.
It didn’t feel like a sell-out gig, but the floor was still packed. Dallas Crane leader Dave Larkin didn’t have to try very hard to get things moving, and with the introduction out of the way (“Get to the point, Larkin!”) they got to work. They moved through as much as they could in the time allotted, offering up God Damn Pride, No Through Road (a bit lacklustre), The Sunnyside and So It Goes among others. Standout was Come Clean, being played for the first time in quite a while. An extended jam sequence made it memorable, with enjoyment being shared from stage to pit.
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