Live Review: The Getaway Plan - Corner Hotel

8 May 2012 | 5:53 pm | Staff Writer

They play with precision and power, feeding the all-too eager audience the songs they are scrambling to the front to hear.

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For a band that labels themselves 'alternative', one has to wonder if this is because The Getaway Plan are a little hard to categorise. They're a little too structured for punk, a lot too soft for metal and a smidgen too hard to be called anything like pop. What they are, though, is persistent and they have definitely re-formed with the intention of planting their feet solidly on the beachhead. The crowd seem a mere cut above what a conglomeration of every last pick of every school football team in Australia might look like. But it's dark and that's harsh. However there is a lot of that awkward hugging going on, the kind where someone reaches over and quickly pats your back with both hands without actually making any physical contact with your body or face. Yeah, awkward.

If The Getaway Plan are alt.rock, then support act New Empire are straightforward cheese. What is up with all the chest thumping and vigorous hand gestures? This is feeling eerily close to Christian rock.

It's not necessarily the rock'n'roll aggression that is lacking in The Getaway Plan's performance; in track The New Year, from their first EP, you can see the roots of their initial foray into hardcore. This approach works better than the structured, perfected vocals that frontman Matthew Wright uses in most other songs. Not to imply that the guy can't wail, because the power behind his voice is phenomenal, albeit aesthetically pleasing to the commercial ear.

Instrumentally this band is tight, forceful and energetic. However you can't shake the feeling that it's somewhat contrived. Wright's “Thank you Melbourne I fucking love you” comes off rehearsed and the heart-felt wacking on the chest (again??) is cringe worthy. Yet you cannot say they aren't good musicians, nor can you deny their professionalism or enthusiastic approach. Wright paces the stage in circles, head down in rhythm, never missing a beat. They play with precision and power, feeding the all-too eager audience the songs they are scrambling to the front to hear.

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“I reckon you might know this one,” says Wright, “if you do, fucking sing along.” The band break into Sleep Spindles and screaming ensues as the diehard fans are satiated. The audience are there for the songs they love and those songs are delivered accordingly, punters leaving happy. But if you can call a spade a spade, then truth be told, you can't smack a cigarette into pop music's mouth and call it rock'n'roll. Just saying.