Reviewed on Thursday October 31
Had you walked into the Danceteria at Goodgod Small Club on this Thursday night, choking on the smoke which filled the venue, you would no doubt have caught the silhouette of a tall lanky figure who looked as if he had just been let down from a rack after a good stretch to his arms and legs, and was bopping about the place like Jack the Ripper on ecstasy. But fear not; this is Australia and Halloween is simply an excuse to dress up and go out to see some great music. The lone, Gumbyesque silhouette was Jeremy Neale, dancing along to Sydney three-piece Okin Osan.
The band was energetic and vibrant, so much so that once they finished the crowd cried out for an encore, with Neale at the forefront. When the band said they were out of songs, Neale started up a “First song again!” chant. They decided on a song which keyboardist Rainbow Chan was unfamiliar with, and simply jammed along, occasionally letting the beat drop, but overall adding to a great act.
Following up were Richard Cuthbert and Major Leagues, both wearing various Halloween costumes. Cuthbert played great music but barely interacted with the crowd or even acknowledged their presence, which later was reciprocated when the audience began to ignore the next set. In fact, Major Leagues were a particular downer to the show. Their fuzzy surf pop seemed more lazy and sloppy than relaxed and mellow. They picked up toward the end, livening up a little and enjoying themselves a bit more.
Jeremy Neale and his band took the stage, dressed in capes and wishing everyone a happy Halloween before launching straight into the music. Blasting through ‘Do Do Do’, ‘Merry-Go-Round’ and ‘Lone Tiger’, Neale quickly worked up the crowd into a frenzy, gathering everyone onto the dancefloor to get freaky in their costumes. The crowd, due to the various other events taking place all over the city, only filled out a little over half the room, but what they lacked in numbers they made up for in enthusiasm.
Once he got onto ‘Darlin’’, the crowd was eating out of his hand. Band members began to steal the audience’s outfits, and by the end of the set, fans were up onstage dancing with Neale, Barack Obama on guitar, Dracula on bass, a pirate on keyboards, and a drummer at the back desperately trying to play as his kit was knocked over by the dancing stage invaders (to his credit, he went all-out for the finale). If Halloweens are always like this, then Australia should definitely take it up as a national holiday.
BY DANIEL PRIOR