Live Review: Giants Of Science, The Gin Club, The Stress Of Leisure

18 November 2014 | 2:15 pm | Sam Fisher

Giants Of Science donned lab coats to revisit their classic 'nerd-rock' at The Triffid.

There’s a fantastic crowd accrued early at sterling new venue The Triffid, and whether this is due to the impending G20-inspired long weekend or the stellar line-up of local talent matters naught as unheralded locals The Stress Of Leisure show off their steadily-increasing live talents.

Established tracks like Work It Out get feet tapping, but it’s the brand new numbers like No Idea Is The New Idea and Girl On A Lilo which really turn heads – assured and powerful even in this early phase of their existence – and they finish a strong set with classic old chestnut The Boy’s Got Issues.

Soon folk conglomerate The Gin Club take up their places and kick off with Southern Lights – the new Adrian Stoyles-penned title track from their impending new album – which is warm and familiar despite its recent vintage. Even with so many songwriters amidst their ranks there’s a cohesion amidst the diversity of writing and delivery which speaks volumes of their combined acumen and musicianship, and songs like chestnut Ten Paces Away and Conor Macdonald’s powerfully building Brisbane, 1933 illicit strong responses from the reverent crowd. Deathwish brings a heavier vibe to proceedings, before Stoyles drops the epic new single Dancing With The Ghost and they finish with the Ben Salter-penned Drug Flowers, which as ever begets grins and singalongs in equal dosage.

It’s been nearly a decade since Giants Of Science delivered any new music, but even longer since they’ve donned the lab coats that they proudly flaunt tonight (that affectation being dropped not long into their fledgling career but revisited tonight in the spirit of remembrance). They kick off with blistering instrumental WFRC, doomy but deceptively intricate in that finest Giants tradition, then power into I’ve Tried and a thunderous rendition of Distractions. Frontman Ben Salter (doubling up after his earlier Ginners set) seems to be relishing the volume, dropping in virginal Forty Floors – from brand new EP What’s Wrong With You And Why which is being celebrated tonight – before pulling out staple Here Is The Punishment, as ever an intense amalgam of power and melody. The four Giants seem delighted to be reunited in anger again, and despite a couple of bass problems the sound is massive and pristine (kudos to the new venue); whether it be old faves like Sisters, Anchors Up, Traveller or Complete This Progression or the new tunes like Your Coke May Be Pepsi and The Tower Of Toowong both band and crowd are united in a powerful orgy of rock’n’roll and reminiscence. When they finish with their trademark earth-shattering cover of Acca Dacca belter Riff Raff it’s clear that there’s a lot of fuel left in this great band’s hefty tank.

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