Live Review: Vagrant: Talkshow Boy, Scraps, Feet Teeth

17 July 2012 | 2:45 pm | Bradley Armstrong

To say the weather tonight is shit would be an understatement of epic proportions. Trudging through the mud and then up and into The Waiting Room is a sign of welcome relief (not just because it's dry) as a number of patrons have embraced the rain to see the Brisbane debut of New Weird Australia's Vagrant series, as curated by Andrew Tuttle.

Feet Teeth kick off early but definitely don't disappoint, delivering a high-end set of music that is probably better described as compositions rather than songs. The band's soaring improvised trumpet mixed in with complex loops, adventurous drums and other odds and ends really pulls you into the their universe as you watch closely what they are going to do with the next instalment of their captivating performance.

Performing (temporarily) without her shimmering wig, Laura Hill – aka Scraps – busts out a wide variety of vintage synth-driven pop drawing from Greatest Shits and latest album, Golden Scraps. The melodies are simply enthralling with that casio-esque auto chord sound resonating throughout and inferring to all and sundry that Scraps is indeed the queen of the technique. A new song is thrown into the mix that contains a bit of a hip hop drum beat underneath a more recognisable Scraps sound which wraps up another great set of vintage electro-pop nirvana.

Going back upstairs from the break, the proceedings carry a very different vibe, as Talkshow Boy commences his set. Whether or not it is a matter of “getting it”, what's on show seems to divide the crowd as half dance and others leave as the Keith! Party star wanders aimlessly (naturally, shirtless) around the room “rapping” underneath occasionally interesting “beats” that unfortunately in a live setting comprise the man pressing play for the next track. Lyrically it is good to hear a variety of topics broached within each song, but all in all it does feel like a bit of a waste of time for all involved. The impression that the young Adrian Trajstman gives off feels like he's an aspiring avant garde version of Mickey Avalon or a fanboy version of Andrew WK. Clearly there's some form of a market for this sort of thing, but if you are one of the ones who doesn't “get it” it does make you wonder whom exactly this market is.

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With the first of two nights of Vagrant wrapping up it's good to see the number of people that have pushed through the harsh weather conditions and come out in support of a great idea that showcases some of the many great but lesser-known musical talents within our country.