This weekend managed to bring together two of my favourite things ever, Christmas in July, and dancing with Zoe to The Hovercrafts at Ding Dong.
Neil’s work puts on Christmas in July every year because a fair majority of them are English and just can’t imagine the cold without the holiday cheer to keep them warm. I’m going out on a limb with this one, but I think that Christmas in July is better than normal Christmas, because there’s none of that shopping stress, family stress, or any other Christmas stress, but all of the food and friends you can handle. Everyone brings a plate of food, the boss brings the turkey and it’s on for young and old after that. And just because most of Neil’s workmates have Australian partners, someone even thought to bring the prawns. BLESS.
After eating the leftovers, Neil and I headed into the city to shake some action. We stopped off at Spleen first, a cosy bar my brother introduced us to not long ago. It’s got that inner-north suburb shabby chic thing going on, with vintage lamps and old, yet comfy couches, along with bar staff that could, with consistent visits, potentially remember you by your drink. (I have a feeling they’ve got me pegged down at The Brunswick Green as Bombay Sapphire with cranberry and a dash of lime). The bartenders are knowledgable about the indie beers and quality spirits they sell and not only have great house cocktails, but are good at on the spot mixing. Last night, after the bartender learned I was a martini kind of girl, was so excited to make me his newest thing. A gin (Bombay Sapphire) martini, with Cinzano vermouth, a dash of Galliano, and cinnamon dusted around the edge of the glass. Served with two olives, it was one fun drink. Kept me warm at least. I think my favourite ingrediant was the enthusiasm of the guy who made it.
Finally, we arrived at Ding Dong and met Zoe and Matthew. It was Weekender, so we went to town on all of our favourite Ding Dong traditions, like a $10 jug of beer and the $5 shots, which may not have been as classy as the martini, but then again, there is nothing classy about Ding Dong, starting with the curtains and ending at the bathrooms coated in lipstick graffitti, and I don’t know anyone who would have it any other way. Zoe and I used to dance to The Hovercrafts in our kitchen when we lived together. We’d put ‘The Get Around EP’ on, pop a bottle of champagne, and wear our shoes in so that we were ready for the rock dancefloors of Melbourne.
The Hovercrafts may not have played ‘Shake Some’ last night, but we’re all cool with the new songs, like ‘Asleep at the Wheel’, ‘Better Party (I Won’t be Here by the Time I’m Gone)’ and, our personal favourite, ‘Texas High’. If you sign up to their mailing list, you can download a free copy of their latest EP, ‘Parapets’, which kick started my Sunday arvo and made it rock.
And, just like old times, Zoe and I nicked the setlist. Ahhh, thrilling. I don’t think we’ve ever told the band, although they’re going to know now…
xoxo Nyssa on the 12th July, 2009 | no comments
filed under music | out and about
and tagged with | christmas in july, ding dong, spleen, the hovercrafts
Getting tickets to see the Kings of Leon these days is hard work. I remember when Neil and I originally bought the tickets, all we got were the scraps, the tickets mentioned a shit view on them (or impaired view, I forget the exact words) and then an hour later they announced a second show, which leaves you a bit, well, why didn’t you tell me that before? Anyway, we were successful, Jane, Nick and Leonie had to delve deep into the worlds of ebay and Gumtree, the latter pulling through with some scortching hot tickets in GA. Patience is a virtue but it will do your head in in the meantime.
With their forth album giving them the commercial hits ‘Sex on Fire’ and ‘Use Somebody’, the organic and slow burn success of the Kings of Leon is well deserved, and should also set an example to record execs everywhere that just because the debut week of an album isn’t crash hot, that doesn’t mean the band isn’t one worth investing in. I jumped on the bandwagon at album number two, ‘Aha Shake Heartbreak’. They played Big Day Out 2006, but I missed their set because I was at End of Fashion. Bad Laura and I considered going to The Palace to see them, but decided it was too cold out to hike down to St Kilda. I ended up buying the aforementioned album to impress a boy, but ended up genuinely falling in love with the record (and not the boy). A couple of years later, Neil, Jane, Nick, Greg and I went to see them at Festival Hall and it was amazing. The hall was electric!
Watching them at Rod Laver Arena was like after all these years of being a parent, nuturing them, buying the records and telling my friends, they were finally grown up and didn’t need my help anymore. It’s kind of sad and definitely hard to share a band with the world like that, but at the same time, it’s fantastic to see the world finally taking notice of genuinely good music. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I didn’t particularly enjoy the show — I’m not a big fan of the latest record, it started out okay but it grew on me the wrong way, and the songs seemed to lose a lot of their melody and their balls live. However, it didn’t stop me from feeling proud that they’ve come this far and that all these people agreed.
After hearing the girl behind me shreik about how hot Caleb was for the last time (seriously, doens’t anyone remember what they looked like with long hair?), Neil and I went for a stiff drink at Spleen. Well deserved!