Shayne P Carter, frontman of many seminal kiwi bands including The Doublehappys, Straitjacket Fitz and Dimmer played Wellington’s Bar Bodega last night with his “power trio” of Vaughn Williams (bass) and Gary Sullivan (drums) as part of his “Last Train to Brockville” tour.
He's still snarling
Mr Carter has rarely deigned to play anything other than his current material and with such an impressive back catalogue to draw on this was an event not to take lightly.
Highlights for me included APS (which I think they actually opened with), Fat Elvis (which got the crowd pogo-ing) and the double-encore because the Wellington audience couldn’t be split between them of “Life in One Chord” and “If I Were You”. “Life in One Chord” was blistering – and such an amazing track to see live.
I’ve always loved the structure of “She Speeds”. Not meaning to sound like an arse but it’s harmonically beautiful and resolves so powerfully into the chorus it’s always a goosebump moment for me. Pulling it off so tightly with a 3 piece would be no small feat and it was done beautifully.
I have great respect for any 3 piece but these guys are tight. Gary Sullivan provides the backbone of the new “Adults” track “Nothing to Lose” and was solid as a rock throughout Shayne’s feedback fueled noise-gasms (an epic version of “Seed” to close the night). Vaughn Williams plays the perfect indie bass. I could never manage to be so resolutely locked down without flying off into riffs of fantasy, but he holds it down like a machine and provides stunning texture for when the guitar suddenly drops out and leaves us hanging, waiting for the next verse.
His Gibson may whisper nothing to him on occasion, but it certainly shouted at us. (I believe the “SG” in “Gibson SG” stands for Snarly Guitarist).
If you’re in Auckland don’t miss them at the Kings Arms next Saturday 14th May.
Shayne Carter writes about “Last Train to Brockville” on publicAddress.net