Friday night's party at Georgia's was like gentrification in action: first came the punks and skaters; then in flowed the hipsters; when I left at around two normal people in santa hats were rolling up by the dozen. Apparently Georgia looked around at 4am and declared "I don't know any of these people!", echoing longtime residents of the Prahran flats almost perfectly.
But the party wasn't only an excellent study of sociopolitical geography. There were also some bands playing. And a fucking impressive lineup of bands it was. Drowned Out, Bill Shankley, The Diamond Sea, UV Race, and then, secretly, Eddy Current Suppression Ring.
Drowned Out were up first, and, let's face it, aren't really a party band. I mean, I was into it and all - their late-period June of 44 crossed with Shellac sound is really up my alley - but they didn't really bring the rock. I'm more excited to see them again this evening at Forepaw Gallery, which means that this entry will be a little rushed. Bill Shankley were up next, and Danny Dischord's band didn't fail to live up to his colloquial surname (or his Void tattoo, or the two Government Issue T-Shirts adorned by members of the band, for that matter). DC style hardcore, played straight and without pretension. Not bad, not bad at all, but still, the hoardes were massed outside around the clothesline, and Bill Shankley failed to bring them in. Even when Pepper attempted to singlehandedly start a circle pit.
I've written about The Diamond Sea before, and make no apologies about being a fan. After the way they played on Friday night, I'm in ever-increasing company. Seriously, they fucking blew everyone away. Word flew around outside that the band playing was slaying all comers, and the kids crowded into Georgia's living room to shake and nod and show their appreciation. They've written some new songs since their Brisbane sojourn, and these new songs, put simply, rock. Playing a little faster (and, seemingly, a lot harder), they rip through their set, melodies aplenty, Jacqui's voice fucking perfect, angst and sweetness combined. After they've finished I hear at least five people ask their friends if they had CDs. Missing Link may do a little more business this week as a result.
UV Race were up next, and they have all the right ingredients. I like Dan's drumming a lot, Al is actually an awesome guitarist, I don't know the bassplayer but he seems to hit the right notes at the right time, and Marcus as a frontman is an inspired choice. The kids seem to like them, but I was tired and grumpy by this point, so stayed back on the couch talking to McNabb, waiting for Eddy Current to play.
It was around this time that the hipsters showed up. With Eddy Current playing a house show it probably shouldn't have been a surprise - the Melbourne scene is small and incestuous, and word travels fast. Still, they weren't in strong enough numbers to morph into the Espy crowd that usually follows ECSR around. I've seen the band a number of times now, but tonight was the only time I've been impressed. Dancing around with Chad, attempting to avoid the moshpit and the crowd surfers, forming a wall around the mixing desk with McGuigan and Tristan. ECSR's straight up rock and roll is perfect for living room party throwdowns, and tonight nothing could fucking stop them. A housemate comes in and lets everyone know that the cops are outside. The music has to stop, or there will be a five hundred dollar fine. The band look at each other and say "We'll pay that," then launch into three more songs. Fucking amazing.
I go outside. McNabb is standing by the fence holding a food processor. "Next time the cops come by", she says, "I'm going to tell them that I'm just trying to make a cake." The normal people are wandering through the gate now, trying to look as though they know where they're going. I head inside, relieved to find my bag - containing my ipod, among other personal effects - where I left it, then split.