I think if I had my time again I’d a Brunswick boho. It’s a sub-culture I relate to despite the bad facial hair and op shop clothes. And the chicks are dead cute.
It was a world I delved into at the Edinburgh Castle on Sydney Road, where I saw a couple of bands play on a night headlined by an interesting musical outfit called Zond.
I like Zond, they made me laugh.
The band room out the back had about 50 people including a wonderful amount of gorgeous women, which was enough to keep me in there even when Zond started playing.
OK, before I go on I should qualify this review-of-sorts by acknowledging that I am getting old and uncool, and that while I wasn’t the oldest person in the room I was probably the most grown up.
Zond’s sound check had a seemless transition into the start of the performance. I only knew it was the start of their performance because the drummer was playing. The bass guitarist was kneeling down near his amp twiddling with dials, another guitarist had her back to the audience and there was another chick kneeling next to stage playing what looked like a little Casio keyboard with sound effects set to tortured cat. The highlight though was the lead guitarist (for want of a better status) who simply put his guitar down next to his amp so it started feeding back and then made all different noises using his footpedals.
Oh, did I say that they were also really fucking loud? So much so that half the crowd (and I shit you not here) had earplugs!
Incrediby the lead man spent the second song (which was marginally better despite not technically being a song) changing a string on his guitar despite the fact he didn’t even play the thing in the intro. How do you snap a guitar string by leaning your guitar against an amp? Perhaps the poor string committed suicide.
The guitar stringing and bass guitarist’s pedantic ways with his amp settings meant a delay between songs to which my mate Mark, who was on his 10th Coopers stout, yelled out “you’re fucking shit” loud enough over the din to even turn the heads of those wearing ear plugs.
By the time Zond hit their straps I surveyed the room partly as an excuse to get a second, third and subsequent looks at the cute blonde chick in the red checquered shirt. I noticed how the crowd were reacting to Zond and through my observations worked out the secret of appearing to be an uber cool bohohemian.
Firstly, no one was dancing. Which really was just as well – though by this stage Mark was playing drums on the table and was only saved from ejection when a mate passed him a pair of maraccas, which he shook along in way that marginally improved Zond’s sound.
I noticed a couple of nerdy guys, perhaps friends of Zond, who were enthusiastically head banging to the songs – one looked like an eight-year-old’s impression of Jesus, the other was a full on Mac user albeit the kind you’ll never see on Apple’s promotional material.
Every one else sat there looking stunned. It was here that I discovered the boho-chic myth. Sitting still during a musical performance loud enough to destroy kidney stones with a deadpan look on your face is not an expression of uber boho cool. No, it’s an expression of boredom and despair, where you’re fighting instinct in an effort to be cool. You see, I reckon everyone in that room, apart from badly drawn Jesus and Mac nerd, absolutely fucking hated what they were hearing, but did not want to appear uncool by admitting they did not get it.
Not me though. I got up, shook my head, jokingy yelled to Mark if he thought Zond would play Khe Sahn and then went out to the main bar to watch the Williams sisters do battle at Wimbledon. Here I was, Mr Suburban Divorced Dad of Two, and I was the most individual person there.
To be fair Zond had a couple of songs that were good. The drummer did a good job at keeping the audience engaged, however they suffered from the usual disease of ill-prepared, self-indulgent guitarists (the bass player and foot pedal guy) who take themselves way too seriously and seemed to think we’d all just payed $8 to watch them rehearse. They have an interesting sound which would have been much more bearable if they simply just stood up and bloody well played.
Originally published at Clubwah on on July 5, 2009