So I'm Melbourne, at Alex's house, listening to Standard Fare. The weather was great on Sunday and Monday, but today I got rained upon as I ventured into the city centre for the first time. Out here in Brunswick it is very different, a bit like K'Road but more upmarket. The first day we went to Dixons and this was the start of quite a successful record shopping spree. I was surprised at the ease of finding Widdershins releases - I bought one of their 12"s and two 7"s. I also found The Palisades (pre-Rainyard!) A Month Too Soon and a copy of The Jasmine Minks' Another Age. Charlotte's Web is another 80s Aussie group, whose "Big Letdown" single I found.
The next day we headed out to Licorice Pie in Prahran (is this what the The Sugargliders' "Ahprahran" refers to?). I agree with Alex that this seems to be the best second hand store in town, and I found plenty of great stuff there as well - including two singles by Swedish garage-revival groups The Backdoor Men and The Playmates in the 'uk indie' section! The best find was probably Club Hoy's second (double-) 7" "Da Da Da Da". Previously I'd only heard "On and On" but this gatefold sleeve ep has two brilliant a-sides on it. Other finds where The Hoods' "You Won't Take Her" single and Delta 5's "Shadow", the latter of which I had to leave unfortunately.
On Sunday night we went to see one of Alexis' bands, called Oblako Lodka. This was at the Wesley Anne here in Fitzroy and it was an impressive venue that reminded me slightly of Cottiers in the West End of Glasgow. They too served food and I had a delicious portion of fettuccine. The first band that night, Tiny Little Tiny Things, was actually the one I enjoyed most. It was just one girl, who looked criminally young, playing a looped and reverbed guitar along to her simple yet charming songs. The headlining act Flying Scribble were perhaps more impressive than captivating, but I really enjoyed them while marvelling at the the two girls' skills at drumming on the one hand and playing multiple organs, accordion and singing on the other. With the same setup as Mates of State they managed to create something much more refined and operatic.
On Monday, the gig I had been looking forward to for a while finally came around. I was going to see The Motifs! Alexis had managed to add themselves to the bill of one of Patinka Cha Cha's gigs at The Empress. The first band Pop Singles really impressed us all and reminded Alex of early Go-Betweens and me of old Summershine outfit Tender Engines (who of course recorded "Ex-Pop Song"!). Looking like an 80s jangle/powerpop group (Winter Hours anyone?), having the taste of playing a 6-string Rickenbacker through a huge Vox amp and head and sporting a female drummer and a bass player who knew to turn up the treble - how could they go wrong?
As there were four bands, they all got a bit pressed for time and Alexis thought she'd only be able to play ONE song. So I got to request "TN". But after general outcry they carried on with "Backwards", "Secret Address" and one more I can't recall. So the setlist above is a bit misleading. But at least I got one! I also spoke to Neil for a bit, who plays drums and is also in Crayon Fields. It was great to hear how much they'd all enjoyed Sweden.
Today I've been to another record/book store called Title, which had lots of great stuff, but I'm even more hesitant to buy stuff now. In Polyester (which Nils-Martin has recommended to me) I bought the new and brilliant Crayon Fields single "Voice of Paradise", but nothing else despite the great selections of new releases. A short trip on the tram took me in to Swanston Street and the impressive State Library. I'd come for the exhibition Type, but it turned out to be more about Australian publishing and printing than typography. It was funny seeing the call numbers for all the exhibited items though! Tonight I'm heading back into town to The Toff for Guy Blackman's regular DJ night.