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Image for Harlequin League, The Wednesday Society, The Preytells, @ Amplifier Bar, Perth (23/11/2007)

Harlequin League, TheWednesday Society, ThePreytells, @ Amplifier Bar,Perth (23/11/2007)

They won this year’s Next Big Thing competition, and considering they haven’t even been gigging for a whole year,”the next big thing” is a pretty good way to describe them. They’ve recently supported The Cops and Expatriate at the amplifier, but tonight Harlequin League were headliners, launching their debut single Hole in the Heart.

Harlequin League have been quick to get themselves playing over in Melbourne this year, and that’s where Learn the Splits fit in. The Melbourne duo is doing something different with only drums and an acoustic guitar, and so far seem to be pulling it off. The energy and conviction of this performance is reminiscent of what was considered – œemo’ five years ago, before the word became synonymous for pop punk or hardcore (depending on your school of thought). The conviction in frontman Ryan Wheatley ’s voice was backed up by the power of his acoustic guitar, but it’s the addition of the drums that gave this performance real direction. Their gutsy acoustic rock caught the early crowd’s attention, and certainly made for a hard act to follow.

It seems the shoes were too big to fill as The Preytells took the stage next. While The Preytells write reasonable pop songs, they always fall short of doing something interesting with them. There were no obvious flaws in tonight’s set, but there weren’t any highlights either, as seems to be the trend in their live shows.

Which left us with the final support for the evening, The Wednesday Society. With some band members busy with side project Sugar Army, it’s not surprising that The Wednesday Society haven’t been playing many shows lately. And the results were evident in tonight’s set. While their post-punk edge usually results in a tight performance, tonight’s set was lacking both the edge and the tightness, resulting in a messy, predictable set. With the band otherwise occupied with side projects, The Wednesday Society have lost the edge and excitement that once made them a great band.

Preluding their first song with their wall of noise intro, Harlequin League wasted no time in getting to the point; their new single was first on the setlist. This was followed by the catchy rhythm sections of (Jungle) Bones with Sebastian Astone (guitar) swapping his guitar for some drumsticks to help Miles Lisman (drums) with the percussion. As James Rogers (bass, vocals) lead the crowd through the first half of the set somewhat half-heartedly, it was the latter half that proved what Harlequin League are truly capable of. After debuting a new track, the crowd was treated to Charlie’s Town, a song that has been missing from Harlequin League’s most recent shows. Throughout their set it can’t be denied that these guys are brilliant musicians, Charlie’s Town proves that they can also write brilliant pop songs. The point was hammered home when followed by Syndrome Expatri, another infectious tune you can’t help but dance to. As they come to the end of the set you know the night itself is far from over, with the boys from Learn The Splits joining the band for an extended jam during What the City Wants and taking the energy levels up another notch entirely. Harlequin League follow the frantic pace through to the last chord, with Benjamin Pooley ’s keyboard thrown to the floor as the band stumbles off into the night.


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Shockingdisplay said on the 28th Nov, 2007

OMG! yet again faster louder sent an uninformed reviewer, the wednesday society played their tightest and best sounding set i have ever seen them play....ever and i have to been to almost all of their shows in the past 2 years. If this 'lost the edge and excitement ' I suggest you were reviewing this from another planet.


disasterplan said on the 29th Nov, 2007

Yet again? If you have any beef with FL, please put it in an email and we'll discuss it properly. You know what happened at Sugar Army and you know whose fault that was. This time, it's a case of one person's opinion against another's and it's a completely different kettle of fish.

sock mobster

sock mobster said on the 29th Nov, 2007

nah dude, it's not about conflicting opinions, but this reviewer is just shithouse. you've got some mighty fine ones on board though, but if she honestly believes what she has stated in this review, something that no doubt 99.9% of people at the gig would refute, then yeah, she really is not a reliable writer for you folks.


disasterplan said on the 29th Nov, 2007

If it's an issue with the review itself, slate it all you want. For the record, I disagreed with the wed soc comments as well.

But in regards to how I manage my team, getting into shitfights on internet forums really isn't my scene these days, so let's leave it there.

sock mobster

sock mobster said on the 29th Nov, 2007

respect homie, nothing against you.


rexd said on the 4th Dec, 2007

Jeez!, I also thought the Preytells played a great set....


fergmonkey said on the 6th Dec, 2007

yeah sock mobster, i know i sure hate it when a band i'm friends with gets a bad review. I find your method of dealing with it works quite well - Slam the reviewer (because why slam just the one review when you can slam everything they've ever reviewed?? much more effective!)

yep, that definitely helps me feel better when I do that. Hope it helped for you.

And for the record, i was there that night too. I saw a lot of people drifting out into the beer garden midway through the wednesday society's set, so i'm not sure about your 99.9% statistic...

sock mobster

sock mobster said on the 18th Dec, 2007

actually, it has nothing to do with association at all, nice assumption of an opinion being based on friendship - don't be such a simpleton! it is rather simple bloody logic i.e. how can you say a band is loose when they are visually and aurally far from that? that suggests that the reviewer has no idea what they're talking about. that's not a matter of opinion, it's clear cut.

and people drifted in and out of amps all night (especially for harlequin league) on account of it being ridiculously hot in there.

i'm having a go not to make myself feel better about a band who i have seen hundreds of times (and equally play as many shit gigs and good ones) getting slammed, if they get slammed so be it. but it is when the writer is obviously incapable of basic fundamental music journalism where there is a problem.