The Ecklebergs launch West & Lime at Antje Oeklesund; Friday 30 November.
Through the darkened wasteland and inside the burrows of Antje Oeklesund a small crowd gathered early. Dorothy Of The Day took to the stage, fittingly wearing red boots like all Dorothys should. No one dared ask if she’d stolen them from a witch, and in any case, her a cappella set was enough to gloss over any charges of witchicide. She was packing a loop pedal instead of Toto. Where many songstresses engage their loop pedals to repeat guitar parts or backing harmonies, Dorothy used it to layer her vocals in an all a cappella performance. Building and layering loops take time and when an entire set an audience’s attention can wander. Dorothy’s little tales explaining the tunes made sure everyone was on the right road. The strongest parts of the set were when she began to play with the loops and send some backwards, revealing more texture than simple harmonies.
Dirty blues rock quintet Quixote brought their swagger and howling to the appreciative crowd. There was a bit of a Tom Waits vibe with the trumpet
And then they played a Waits’ tune, Hoist That Rag, but without the trumpet. There are plenty of bands doing the blues infused rock thing but Quixote’s line up allows them to tackle it at different angles. It’s a hard hitting rock sound, Doors-esque but without the improvisation, all delivered with a howl. The keys and trumpet add an extra dimension, meaning they don’t rely entirely on a guitar attack to the songs. The set got a bit indulgent for some but there’s no missing the group’s energy and all out enthusiasm for being on stage.
Then came time for The Ecklebergs to reveal the latest album from frontman TJ Eckleberg. The record itself had been recorded a while ago, in a different incarnation, and it wasn’t entirely clear which songs were on the release and which were live fodder. Eckleberg’s experience on the Australian scene made itself clear as he worked through the guitar led tunes. It was a diverse and energetic set, starting in some familiar blues infused rock territory and moving through to indie pop by mid-set. Some crowd participation moments didn’t take off quite as planned but it was clear the trio were having fun on stage, and it spilled to the crowd.
West & Lime, the new record by The Ecklebergs, can be downloaded from http://theecklebergs.com