Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley was the height of activity on Saturday 28 October, with noise from the streets and neighbouring venues bleeding into The Foundry.
The outside noise wasn’t ideal, but Melbourne-based quintet Beaches drowned it out with psychedelic fuzz on the first stop of their tour in support of their latest album ‘Second Of Spring’.
Local shoegazers Ultra Material sounded extraordinary in their opening set. Their synths, melodic guitar, pounding drums and breathy vocals mixed together into a beautiful haze.
Fellow locals Thigh Master also provided support. Rather than the fuzz and textures of the night’s other bands, Thigh Master delivered a set of raw, energetic rock & roll racing through tunes like the scrappy ‘Company’.
Beaches guitarists Ali McCann admitted this was their first gig in over a year. Even with such a long break, they pulverised right from the beginning of feedback-drenched opener ‘Turning’ showing there’s no need for practice when they possess a natural chemistry.
All of Beaches’ set is taken from ‘Second Of Spring’, showcasing some of the great jams from the double album.
From the Black-Sabbath-power-chords of ‘September’ to the sunny leads on ‘Grey Colour’, the band have crafted another fantastic batch of tunes. But watching them perform brought the album to colourful life.
Beaches pushed their instruments hard into a deafening swirl of fuzz, with squealing feedback filling any silence between songs. The highlight was watching Beaches perform the krautrock ‘Divers’.
Bassist Gill Tucker played a propulsive line that synced perfectly with Karla Way’s motorik beat. As Tucker and Way locked eyes, guitarists McCann, Alison Bolger and Antonia Sellbach painted their noises on top, signalling to each other with glances and nods.
The band rode this thrilling groove, repeating it in all its glory, the crowd nodding to the beat throughout. It’s a mesmerising piece lasting five minutes, but could’ve stretched to a half-hour without ever feeling like a drag.
When Beaches finished, the crowd were startled awake by the noise outside. It goes to show Beaches are a band whose music is easy to get lost in; a pleasurable spell to be under.