Sets on the Beach: Bag Raiders, Tim & Jean & more @ Scarborough Beach

17 Dec


Sunday, December 10 Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre

One couldn’t ask for a better setting for a Sunday party – dancing on the sand with sun lounges and views of the ocean, except the weather was cloudy and windy but the rain held out – and it didn’t deter the 2000 or so excited youngsters, dressed in their most summery of outfits – i.e. the shortest of denim shorts.

Locals Charlie Bucket and Philly Blunt kicked off the party, followed by Sydney-based DJ, Cassian and then synth-poppers Tim & Jean.

Frontman Tim Ayre started the set by showing is adeptness on the keys with a nifty jazz solo accompanied by drummer Jade Masters before launching into the track, Like What with Jean Capotorto and Ben Smith joining them on stage.

The audience was more concerned with frolicking in the sand than watching Tim & Jean perform their summery 80’s pop tunes, but they dished up the goods and battled through the sound issues – the system seemingly unable to handle a live band with the bass distorting and tinny upper levels – as they played songs from their debut album to be released early next year.

Stand out tracks included, Give It Up and when Ayre asked, “Put up your hands if you are intoxicated,” and most of the audience put up their hands, before they launched into Veronica and their massive single of last year, Come Around, which finally seemed to unite everyone on music and dancing.

Sydney DJ duo Flight Facilities were next – and just to make it crystal clear who you were listening to, they wore old-skool pilot hats, playing a mostly uninspired repetitive house set, occasionally touching on techno and disco and throwing in remixes of popular tracks by Daft Punk, Phoenix and New Order. They finished a one and half-hour set with a remix of their hugely popular track, Crave You.

Before headliners, Sydney duo Chris Stracey and Jack Glass aka Bag Raiders played a live show to support their new album, alcohol stopped being served – apparently due to license restrictions. Oh well. It didn’t mar the party as punters got excited and the duo opened with Gone Away from behind workstations comprised of synthesizers, samplers, tom drums, wood blocks and vocal mics.

Stracey asked everyone to step back a bit so people at the front didn’t get hurt and they played the brilliant pop track, Sunlight, which unfortunately sounded terrible due to the fact that again, the system just couldn’t seem to handle the live set-up.

Fortunately things improved for the percussive Snake Charmers, the electro-funk inspired So Demanding and Golden Wings and by the time the set closed with singles Way Back Home and Shooting Stars, well, nobody cared how it sounded, with Bag Raiders winning everyone over with their catchy tunes.

[Edited version published in The Wire, The West Australian, Issue 81, 09.12.10]


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