Live Review: Gareth Liddiard

28 October 2015 | 4:14 pm | Benjamin Meyer

"Triple j described me as Lawson crossed with Ned Kelly crossed with a fucking meat pie or something".

More Gareth Liddiard More Gareth Liddiard

Gareth Liddiard, frontman of The Drones, plays Friday Nights At NGV. The event features a series of talks, DJs, food, a bar that has run out of beer by 8.30pm (but importantly, not red wine) and access to the exhibition, Masterpieces From The Hermitage: The Legacy Of Catherine The Great. The exhibition focusses on Catherine The Great's stewardship of a period of cultural renaissance in Russia. On loan from Saint Petersburg's Hermitage, art created by Rembrandt, Rubens, Velazquez and Van Dyck, among others, feature.

The NGV's main hall is impressive, with the stain glass window ceiling always fun to gaze up and stare at. The stage is set up in the middle, with two sections of round tables at each side. This creates a somewhat annoying atmosphere as the chatter from these sections drowns out some of the more intimate moments of Liddiard's set.

Liddiard looks like he feels slightly out of place as he takes the stage. Taking some laboured moments to set up his stool and asking the audience, "Is everyone here to see me?" he starts the gig with Strange Tourist; however, he forgets the lyrics towards the end of the song. The audience is supportive and the next song, Blondin Makes An Omelette, is substantially better with Liddiard commenting, "Didn't forget that one!" A succession of portraits, people on death beds, endless landscapes to even weird pictures of dogs from the exhibition are projected on a large screen above Liddiard. The strangest juxtaposition is when The Adoration Of The Magi by Rubens pops up. The picture of a pudgy baby Jesus reaching for gold coins while Liddiard plays an acoustic version of The Drones' new single Taman Shud is particularly memorable. Liddiard provides ranty funny banter between each song. At every chance he takes the piss out of the context and himself. The best is when he recounts triple j's description of his music (which features on the NGV website) with the memorable "Triple j described me as Lawson crossed with Ned Kelly crossed with a fucking meat pie or something". He introduces the second last song of the set, I Don't Ever Want To Change, as: "It sounds like a Steve Earle song but when Steve Earle was still on drugs", with the finale being a drawn out version of Sixteen Straws. With that, Liddiard says thanks, jumps up, and walks into the crowd at the side of the stage.