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March 13, 2006 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

The Brunettes

The Brunettes with Disasteradio and The Gladeyes
Saturday 4th March, Bodega

Standing outside Bodega for a post gig cigarette, somewhere behind us a girl shrieked ‘Oh my God, I touched his sweaty body. He’s so skinny and gorgeous!’ To a certain breed of Wellingtonian, a Brunettes gig is somewhat akin to a mating call. The bar was packed to the gunnels with hot young things in polka dots, tapers and spiv mustaches, ready to feast off the palpable sexual tension that Heather and Jonathan, one of the most attractive musical pairing of recent times, are wont to fill venues with. We were decidedly against type.

Particularly me. I was sulky. Last week, readers may remember, I waxed enthusiastic about Disasteradio. Tonight, he was an awkward opener: his warped electro synth did nothing to complement either of the bands to follow, and the (ubiquitous?) ‘12:51’ struck me as a cheesy pastiche. Maybe he was merely misplaced. The Gladeyes failed to set the place alight, but when the Brunettes took the stage, the faithful were dancing manically and singing every single word right back at them. They were a stark contrast- despite having a musical style that is often all over the place, they were tight, and more importantly, they have the sheer charisma to carry off any idiosyncrasies. It’s been about a year since I saw them last, and in that inconsiderable length of time they’ve moved their haunting lo-fi arch 60s girl-pop on to something altogether more bombastic. The recent addition of a permanent brass section was one ingredient of their sound that made it all seem fuller, more confident, and even a little grandiose.

It was a set loaded with songs from recent album ‘Venus Loves Mars’, ‘Loop Loopy Love,’ ‘Bestfriend Envy’ and everyone’s favourite, the ‘Mary-Kate and Ashley song’, with the by-now standard masks and stage shooting. A surprisingly faithful rendition of Britney’s ‘Toxic’ was a huge hit with the delirious crowd. As one of our group remarked, ‘it’s a long way from Holding Hands Feeding Ducks.’ Though dogged with technical problems all through the set, The Brunettes held it together admirably, producing a fantastic display of group musical unity and looking delicious. The loved-up young crowd went forth from the venue sated and eager for a pash.


About the Author ()

BORN WITH a cigarette in one hand and The Trial in other, Bea meant to go on as she started. Music wasn’t her first love, but her first love ended in a fight over rightful ownership of a Velvet Underground LP and the kitchen knife, so she chose the kinder option and stuck with it. In her spare time she enjoys casting aspersions, skulking, and making sweeping statements. She never checks her facts: figures it’s a way to live a little, to have arguments with people, then meet them. She’s currently writing a collection of short stories inspired by Schopenhauer’s manifesto of suffering and the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. When it gets published, she’s pretty sure that boy will want to hold her hand.

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