AFTER a demoralising day of getting lost traversing the UK with a broken sat-nav, the idea of navigating a new city on foot did not appeal. However, the pull of Brisbane’s Dead Letter Circus was too strong to resist, and despite a few wrong turns and missing the start of the set, once settled in with wine in hand and DLC in full throttle, all my stress evaporated. They were good; really, really good.
Finding them a bit histrionic on record, I wasn’t sure what to expect live but found myself instantly won over. Vocalist Kim Benzie’s truly impressive high melodic voice soars powerfully over the heavy, proggy backdrop to moving effect — no black clad pretenders, these guys are serious musicians in the vein of Tool, Butterfly Effect and Karnivool.
In this tiny, dark venue they were playing with stadium intensity, and though the crowd was small they were all dedicated, fist-in-the-air, know-all-the-lyrics types. The band were clearly chuffed with the response from their northern cousins, and Benzie paid his dues by dropping a few Aussie band names; in particular Cog, who he said ‘started the movement for the new generation of bands’.
It was a beautiful thing to witness, these fellow Aussies rocking this corner of the globe with such sincerity, and I found myself overcome by a mixture of pride and homesickness that I hadn’t felt since seeing Crowded House at Glasto.
Watch this space.