Good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll

28 April 2011

Written by: Natalie Savino

The guerrilla gig is an art form not utilised nearly enough, flaring up briefly mid-way through last decade and championed by Norf London rockers The Libertines. So it’s refreshing to see the guerrilla gig rear its ugly, malformed head once again in the form of The Fearless Vampire Killers’ (TFVK) Saturday gig, played in a random living room of a random house in North Carlton and celebrating the launch of their first video clip.

The location was announced before the gig via a viral Facebook promotion. Undoubtedly the heavy rain kept the soft ones away, but the offer of free beer (yes!) held a lot of sway, and when I arrived around 9 the house was filled to the brim with hipsters excited to catch up with TFVK, who have been pretty quiet on the live scene since spending most of last year wrapping up their debut album. The clip for new song ‘For You And Me’ was played against the living room wall at about half-nine, with punters chugging back Melbourne Bitter longnecks and revelling in the velvety, Beatles-esque blues rock of the song. The clip itself is laid-back and very Melbourne, showing the four lads jamming, getting pissed and eating mandatory kebabs. It’s a high-quality production in lovely muted colours and a great song choice.

The crowd agreed, and when the lads took the stage (the ‘stage’ being some mics and a PA crashed together in the microscopic living room), everyone was pumped. The bath, filled with Melbourne Bitters, had been satisfyingly depleted and everyone was having a grand old-time. Opener and crowd favourite ‘Alright Now Honey’ had the room, and the entire house, swaying as one; the house was packed. People were spilling out doors and windows. I started in the living room and ended up in the kitchen, then the backyard, then peering in the bathroom window (access to the free beer plus a view of the living room). The boys were playing well, with frontman Sean Ainsworth’s whiny vocal and the lead guitar being particular highlights. They were relaxed and on-form despite the crowd literally being right on top of them. ‘For You And Me’ came about half-way through the set, and had a sandpaper edge suiting the grimy nature of the live performance.

Closing song ‘Giant’ rocked the crowd the way a closer should. Not only was it great to see such a tight, quality Melbourne band back playing live, it was almost cooler to see the way they went about it. The location gave the gig a homely, intimate feel that a public venue would never come close to emanating. TFVK might have bribed us with free beer, but we stayed for the rock, which was all fucking class.

Renee Tibbs is a Master of Global Communications student at La Trobe University and is a former editor of upstart.