The Mel-bourne Identity

As Flush the Fashion spreads its musical wings further afield, Priyam (Pea) Chovhan reviews 3 shows on the thriving music scene in Melbourne, Australia.

Store Bought Cool – Single Launch ‘Doing Fine’, The Grace Darling Hotel
Speaking to Matt, lead guitarist for SBC, he describes their frontman Dave as the Elvis to the band’s Beatles. Arriving on stage at The Grace Darling with dramatically painted eyes and an electric charisma, Dave is clearly itching to showcase the band’s latest work ‘Doing Fine’.

It’s been one year since their last well-received single ‘The Wild’, a dark, heavyweight track reminiscent of David Lynch, malice aforethought and big, black, dirty boots. With ‘Doing Fine’ they’ve made a move towards harmonic choruses, California pop and wistful lyrics.

This is not a love song though and definitely not about a girl. Importantly, with their new song they haven’t departed from their self-confessed spookiness and raw grunge.

What seems to permeate their music is Dave’s deep, resonant bass similar to the cavernous tones of Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen and which is complimented by the thickness of the bass provided by namesake Dave. I’m a big fan of ‘No Mystery’ and the tension Jeremy on violin creates with his strings – like a speeding steam train about to catapult off the tracks and into the ravine. Flame-haired Cara on drums plays with a gleaming smile on her face and exemplifies the sheer fun that the band is having playing to the intimate Collingwood crowd.

Their sound is transatlantic. A meeting of preppy American diner sounds and corrugated garage heaviness. Store Bought Cool has a distinctly different and original take on the plethora of indie aspiring bands out there and definitely a rough diamond of Melbourne talent.

‘Doing Fine’ is out now and available for download at www.storeboughtcool.com where you can name your price.

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The Toot Toot Toots – Debut Album Launch Outlaws Hi-Fi Bar
I first saw The Toots play at Melbourne’s iconic Spiegeltent about a month ago and was immediately enthralled and made giddy by their rock and roll, rollicking, rockabilly sound.

Before the show I chatted with Danny (vocals, guitar) amongst their mixed bag hometown crowd who were already tapping their boot clad feet to the sounds of support band Mother & Son (think WULYF over a Beach Boys riff). Here’s what he told me…

What do you make of your liquorice all-sort crowd?
They’re a pretty loyal crew. A bit roller-derby, a bit country, and quite a few of old school rock and rollers.
How would you describe your music?
Spaghetti Western minced with garage and risqué country.
Are you a cowboy?
Ha! Probably not, I’d probably put a real cowboy to shame.
Favourite Western film?
I’m a big Clint Eastwood fan. My favourite would probably be Fistful of Dollars. But also really dig the modern western stuff like True Grit.
What about lyrical influences, who or what do you draw from?
Quite a few different genres. Musically though Nick Cave, Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits. We get a lot of inspiration from TV as well though so anything dark and grotesque like Deadwood gives us a lot of crazy supernatural and surrealism to draw from.

The Toots took to the stage after their second support, Little John – a six-piece ensemble that made me think of Cormac McCarthy, long empty roads and Route 66 pit stops. Danny’s voice is something obscenely rich – a guttural, melodic roar that booms through the venue. He is flanked on the right by Giuliano (vocals, trombone, percussion) whose signature stage move resembles a proclaimer singing to the damned that they’re about to perish in a fiery hell.

We made a strategic move to the front of the ever-growing crowd where there was dancing and foot stomping and strangers kissing.

The audience seemed to have quadrupled and were soon all sweating and synchronised in singing the melodies to ‘Gomorroh Fields’, ‘Every Sinner’, and one of my favourites, ‘Fare Thee Well, Jesse’. The band was embellished on stage by the shimmying tassels of Go Girl Gadget Go Go!, a glitter lipped, dancing cowboy (who at one point licked Giuliano’s shaved, perspiring head) and put on one of the most spectacular, rumbustious performances I’ve ever witnessed.

Champion of homegrown Melbourne music, The Old Bar, will host The Toots in residency throughout June and their debut album Outlaws is out now on vinyl, cd and digital at www.thetoottoottoots.bandcamp.com

Next Page – Husky

Editor of Flush the Fashion and Flush Magazine. I love music, art, film, travel, food, tech and cars. Basically everything this site is about. You can follow me on Twitter HERE or on Instagram HERE

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