Reviewed on Saturday March 22
This afternoon show could be described in many ways, but “endlessly quotable” is one that springs to mind first. “This one’s for everyone under 18 and over 40,” offered bassist/vocalist Nic Warnock, before adding: “Which is pretty much everyone here except us.” After a lazy afternoon of late-lunch beers and record crate sifting, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys could not have been more relaxed leading up to their set. Hell, their drummer looked as though he was set to head off to a barbie as soon as they were done, decked out in a VB singlet and stubbies. Theirs is an interesting sonic balance – it’s choppy garage rock that’s low on fanfare, but there’s also an underlying aggression and abrasive texture to the vocals and the extended guitar breaks. Comparisons to The Clean and The Scientists are inevitable, but a more contemporary reference point might be Parquet Courts, with whom they played a matter of months ago. An effortlessly impressive set by a band seemingly always on the up and up.
Another great line: “I am slowly drowning in my own lungs.” This was provided by the man of the hour, Sebadoh’s Lou Barlow, who found himself constantly spluttering and clearing his throat throughout the evening. With that said, if he hadn’t told us of his travel sickness, there was no way you could have picked up on it during the actual performance. Barlow was in fine form, delivering his brand of sharp, brisk indie rock in considerable style. His right-hand man, Jason Loewenstein, also kept spirits high, joking constantly and interacting with various audience members and the odd heckler.
Amazingly, despite being a crowd almost exclusively of day-drunk dads with day passes and babysitters, the audience was up for any direction the show took. “Do you mind if we play some new stuff?” Not at all. “How about we do something really crazy?” Let’s hear it. Whatever the band pulled out from their two-decades-plus discography, it was received rapturously. As soon as the last note rung out, Barlow was back behind the merch desk, while Loewenstein was chatting up fans at the bus stop and thanking them for coming. Sebadoh is still very much a DIY operation after all these years – a labour of love; playing shows to an audience that gets exactly as much as it gives.