In Brisbane last night I saw The Clientele at a place called The Troubador; a cosy haunt with couches lining the long rooms walls. Robert Scott (from The Clean, The Bats, solo stuff) supported. It was just him (the nerdiest looking guy you'll ever see) and an acoustic guitar and it was lovely hearing songs by The Clean and The Bats as well as songs he wrote for just him on this evening because there were no drums or mess to get in the way of his stripped back pop.
The Clientele were extraordinarily good and charming and humble up there in front of a modest crowd. They played a whole range of stuff, most of which I considered my favourite's from all of their albums. Throuhout the entire set I couldn't shake the image of one particular holiday in New Zealand's West Coast, some amazing place I stumbled upon, a patch of woods with long grass and enourmous trees with some weird abandoned sports ground near by and a beach 10 minutes down the road. I could not imagine a better place to hear the Strange Geometry LP. I know it wasn't just all those beers I had that left a permanent smile to take over my face for the entire gig. I'm not sure if it was that state that made me ponder the influence of the Dunedin sound and New Zealand jangly pop as purveyed by Robert Scott and the like. It seems like there's certainly a hint of it but i'm probably reading too far in. The Clientele's sound is steeped in some very British 60s traditions. The merch desk had all of their albums lined up and sparing the last one they're all blurry night-time photos, dark greens vaguely visible; it's just how they sound and seeing the pictures in a row lines right up with how particularly and intently they mine one particular place, one single aesthetic. There are a lot of bands out there and I feel like this is a good approach. They sound like memories and the twilight that you don't want to creep away. Closing with a cover of a Television song, there was no encore, which was a bummer, because it was the best thing I've seen in a long time. For some reason I've noticed recently how much of an urge I have to regard something in a Top Five. Perverse, really, but fun, and it's easy with stuff like this to wrap yr ears around.