Live Review: East Brunswick All Girls Choir howl through Brisbane show with Gold Stars and Jack Spider

Melbourne’s East Brunswick All Girls Choir stood in a row on the Greaser Bar’s thin strip of stage. It’s smaller than the band’s original venue for their Brisbane show, which was changed due to noise complaints. Playing songs from their latest album Teddywaddy, their raucous noise crashed into the dimly-lit brick walls and no complaints at all.

Local openers Gold Stars had an intriguing way with noise. Atop the alt-rock guitar licks of Ben Green and Phil Laidlow, Green picked up a portable radio transmitter, pushing it against his guitar’s pick-up and looping the device’s static. Barrelling through the white noise were the drums of Branko Cosic. The force of the stomps on his bass drum pedal nearly sent his snare toppling off the stage; he regularly had to stretch out his hand to save it and grip it tightly with his knees.

A stuttering squeal came from the guitar of local rocker Jack Spider. Usually a solo performer, Spider was joined by a drummer and bassist who laid down garage grooves. The extra musicians allowed Spider to indulge in guitar freak-outs; his whole body shaking and his legs nearly giving out.

East Brunswick All Girls Choir’s country-fried gothic-rock often swung from maudlin to intense within the same song. A sound like strong wind blew from their amps on opener “Steeple People” as drummer Jen Sholakis’ beat slowly crawled in. Singer Marcus Hobbs sweetly whined over the drones and chimes of guitar, building into a barrage of squealing guitars that Hobbs screamed over until he became hoarse.

Hobbs’ body shook with every guitar stroke on “Leave The City”. After a melancholy intro, guitarist Robert Wrigley bent over and attacked his strings. The noise grew, and Sholakis played her drums harder to hear over the din. Emerging was the dark groove of Rie Nakayama’s bass, signalling her bandmates to morph the song into the storming “Cicada Chirps The Chicane”.

There was barely any space between the band’s members. Wrigley’s swinging guitar brushed over Sholakis’ cymbals, while Nakayama had to dodge Hobbs’ guitar neck from unintentionally striking her in the face. The crowd were inches away from the stage, some losing control and shaking uncontrollably, but the intensity of the band’s performance kept the crowd from venturing any closer.

Hobbs’ and Wrigley’s guitars barked at each other over the hellish stomp of “Essendon 1986”. As the noise rang out at the song’s conclusion, the crowd demanded more. Hobbs bargained with the crowd, promising an encore if they sell five shirts. After coughing up their cash, fans were treated to a spirited performance of “Aeroflot”. Audience members swayed, and one lifted a lighter, unaware that an air-conditioning vent blew out the flame, not complaining at all.

FIVE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Teddywaddy is out now. Find the band on Facebook.

The reviewer attended the show at Brisbane’s Greaser Bar on November 16.

East Brunswick All Girls Choir Tour

Nov 24: Crown And Anchor – Adelaide, SA
Dec 1: The Bridge Hotel – Castlemaine, VIC
Dec 22: Milk! Records Xmas Party – Northcote Social Club, VIC

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