Hosted across three venues, The Blurst Of Times was, and continues to be, one of the champions of the crawl-like festival night: encouraging movement throughout the Valley precinct with the promise of decent live music at The Brightside, The Zoo and The Foundry (16 April).
Kicking off late in the arvo on Saturday and wrapping up at midnight, the line-up promised to reward the ears of any casual Triple J listener, with the likes of Kirin J. Callinan, The Murlocs and Methyl Ethel among others getting down and dirty.
Our night started a little late in the scheme of things, we got into it at about 8ish, but ain't it always nice to see the Valley busy that early? It was getting full, with lots of young kids and high hair and faces. One of the nice things about The Brightside carpark as a venue is you always get a bit of a spillage of sound onto the street, meaning these young high kids were havin' a dance wherever they wanted.
We went to The Foundry to see Crepes; we'd heard good things about them. They did cover 'Seabird' (remember that Alessi Brothers song?), but apart from that they weren't quite mine. They did some lovely keyboard work, but I dunno, I didn't dance.
The Murlocs came after them, and it cracks my lil' heart to say this, but I think this was the worst set I've ever seen from them: the sound was real dodgy, there were no levels at all, which meant the songs all began to sound the same. I really, really like The Murlocs, I think they're groovy and they're such fun to dance and wail along to, so I kind of did it anyway, but I do feel sorry for them for that set, because the sound was just so wack.
Moses Gunn Collective came along next: lovely boys, lovely girls, lovely sound. Lovely time, really, always is, but we wanted to see the John Steel Singers so we had to dash off early. That's no comment on them though; they're wicked smart. We love 'em, really.
So we ran across to The Zoo to see the John Steel Singers and my god I'm glad we did. We were losing a bit of momentum, but it was impossible not to find it again in front of them: man, they're good. A demon appeared in the shape of Liam Campbell, he came on stage for a little while to play guitar for them, fresh out of Indian prison, and he and the whole group were well in tune with each other and everyone else as well. My memory of John Steel Singers is anchored in their releases from about 2009, but holy moly they are sounding groovy at the mo. So thank you John Steel Singers.
The last act of the night was Kirin J. Callinan, who I'd never seen live but whose recordings I like an awful lot, and who I did really want to see. I dug the first song, I love his real deep Australian accent, but did anything ever make me laugh less than someone begging for an encore? “Alright guys, I'm going to walk off stage, and then you clap heaps, then we come back on and play some more.” I don't care how gurnin' you are, please don't do that. Kirin J. Callinan was a tricky set for me to watch, I felt like I liked him less by the end of it.
And that was my Blurst Of Times. I went because I thought I needed to get out my funk of music I sometimes get in, my aversion to the vanilla bubbly. I wanted to see why so many of my friends dig this kind of stuff. If that many people were havin' a good time, there must be something there. Plus, it's always a good thing if local music gets this kind of reception, whatever the genre. Because, hell, last time I checked, this was a community wasn't it?
Massive kudos to the organisers as well. The whole thing was as smooth as silk and they must be pleased as punch.