22 June 2018
When you don't want Ticketek to find you a general admission and charge you a shitload for the privilege, Under the Radar is there to help the next level of bands breaking through the ceiling. There's many a band I've been seeing over the past 12 months that are due to UTR and their weekly mailers.
I can't help but think plenty of good housie nights have been had at the Pt Chev RSA. Low ceilings, wide space, and a curtain separating the public bar from the performance area, but it works a treat for a suburban gig.
There's a substantial crowd tonight, the Miltones have clearly built a sizeable following. I can only think they must be good if Reb Fountain is the support act. Reb's passionate, bluesy vocals warms the crowd up nicely, especially with Bones and Do You Know Who I Am. That's the third time I've had the joy of seeing her since September (fourth if you count the snippet I caught with the Eastern), and she never ceases to gobsmack.
The band come on to a big cheer and quickly show why they're on the ascendance. They're classy and original, a bit rockabilly and damn good fun.
The lead singer, Milly Tabak has a great country-blues vocal range, with some raw Stevie Nicks in there. She livens almost every song with some astonishing hair choreography, almost to the point of distraction. But it's lively performance, the mosh pit is almost entirely female and they're having a blast.
Gypsy Queen was a massive standout and has the room in the palm of their collective hand. For me, their rendition of This Must be the Place was a moment of bliss, performed with due reverence to David Byrne, but bringing their own feel to the song.
Liam Pratt on the lead guitar is straight out of the Stevie Ray Vaughan playbook, which is a hell of an act to emulate. I can't help but think though that it's Guy Harrison's keyboards that give the band an extra edge of originality, with a 70s Hammond organ feel, and when he brought out the the trumpet it gave a sublime mariachi layer.
Wherever country has come from, it's morphed and shifted into a thousand different shades. No dosey doe in sight tonight, and the world is a better place for it.