Caught the BellRays at the Gaelic Club in Sydney two Fridays ago. Much expectation in the air after their only headlining gig of their Australian tour (as supports ro Radio Birdman) at Annandale last year and it has to be said that they didn't scale those same dizzy heights. Maybe that Annandale show was a high mark (it's certainly one of the best gigs I've seen ina decade.) They were great last Friday-week but also seemed a little tired. Maybe they were holding a little back for the festival gig at Summer Plains in Victoria the next night. The set was paced and didn't have the same building dynamics.
That said, they were still mighty formidable although a few people passed comment, post-gig, that the songs got a little samey towards the end. I was up front for most of it which isn't the best place to evaluate the sound and the lines between what they played and what I thought they played were blurred after constant exposure to their albums in the week preceding.
No shortage in dynamics in the sets last week by French tourists to Australia, Dimi Dero Inc. A four piece led by the charismatic Dimi Dero (vocals and guitar), they turned in a stinging headliner at the Excelsior in Surry Hills last Thursday night and played an even betetr support to X at the Sando on Saturday evening. These guys play brooding, dark music that's rockier in the flesh than on their excellent "Sisyphus, Window Cleaning" album (Off the Hip). More about both shows at the I-94 Bar in the next few days but the Dimis are doing a national tour with the Drones. Dates below. Catch 'em if you can.
There were also wonderful sets by Penny Ikinger (with Dimi himself on drums and Vinz from Dimi Dero Inc on bass) on two of thbese nights. Penny toured Europe last year with Dimi and Vinz, did an Excelsior set on Thursday and supported X on the Friday. Penny has about 20 songs ready to record and they sure sounded fine on both nights.
And if you're wondering, the two-night stand by the reformed X at the Sando on Friday and Saturday was excellent. More on this one very soon too.