Thursday, 30 April 2009

HiFi Bar, Gigs of the Week - April 30th

Before I delve into this weekend's gigs, I thought I'd share a few quick and disorganised thoughts on Brisbane's newest mid-sized venue, The HiFi. Of course it opened last night with a show featuring The Drones, Witch Hats and locals Hits. The bands were all pretty good to great, but they're not really what I want to discuss. The venue is located in what was previously the Pavilion in West End, but it's barely recognisable from that old establishment. The HiFi is split into a main room that holds 1200 audience members and a front bar known as 'Vinyl' (that particular part of the venue is yet to be completed, but apparently it holds 150 people and may be used to put on smaller shows - whether smaller local bands can use it is so far unclear). The main room is fairly large, roughly cubic but with multiple floor levels so that it's quite easy to get a decent vantage point from anywhere in the venue (that said, a friend of mine who is about 6'4" told me that from near the bar you couldn't see a thing). The room doesn't exactly have much character, it was built with sound and ease of viewing in mind and most of the decour is pretty modern - it has nothing on the similarly sized Tivoli in this respect, though is no worse than The Arena. Despite this apparent focus on sound quality one of the major complaints I've heard is the poor sound, and certainly I found this to be a problem myself last night. The first two bands sounded muddy and undefined, while things improved marginally for the headliners. It perhaps wasn't as bad as The Arena could sometimes be, especially in terms of the occasional feedback storms that plagued that venue on occasions, but that's not necessarily much of a compliment.

As for other factors, it was kind of difficult to tell what the venue will be like in the future due to the fact that things were obviously not finished (in addition to the Vinyl Bar being boarded up only one bathroom was operational in the main venue, for example). Apparently the bar staff were operating on only the most basic training from the venue and so any slowness on their part can be somewhat forgiven. Drink prices were kind of high anyway so after my first drink I never returned to the bar. There were a LOT of photographers and video cameramen in the crowd who occasionally got in the way, but I imagine this was just because it was opening night, though the venue has stated that many shows will be videoed and a feed will be shown in the Vinyl Bar so maybe the video cameramen will be a somewhat permanent fixture? I guess we'll find out soon enough.

On the plus side it has decent air-conditioning which will be a big help in summer, and frankly it's just nice to be seeing a gig somewhere other than the valley for once.


Thursday 30th:
Modern Love: Rocketsmiths, Hungry Kids of Hungary, Nikko, Mass Migration (final show) @ The Zoo - 4zzzFM fundraiser. Tickets are half price for subscribers.
Ball Park Music (Album Launch), Blame Ringo, Jake Rush & The Bad Habits @ The Troubadour
Drawn From Bees, The Strange Attractors - Ric's Bar

Friday 1st:
Aleks & The Ramps (Vic), Toy Balloon @ Ric's Bar
The Grates, Children Collide (Vic), DZ @ The Hifi - I think this is sold out so I'm not too sure why I'm listing it.
Hazards of Swimming Naked, Le Fricken Hecks, Soma, The Sea Shall Not Have Them @ Rosie's Downstairs

Saturday 2nd:
New Jack Rubys, Hotel Motel, Skritch, Sabrina @ The Troubadour
Twist Oliver Twist, Last Dinosaurs, Wipedoubt, Damasyria, Arado, Kybosh, Beth Lucas @ The Globe
Moon Jog @ Ric's Bar
Swaying Buildings @ Ric's Bar (4pm)

Sunday 3rd:
Secret Birds @ Ric's Bar
Live Spark: Wind & Brackets, Grand Atlantic
@ The Powerhouse
Lots of bands I can't be bothered listing @ The Caxton St Seafood Festival

Also don't forget that this is the last week to see the Underexposed Exhibition at Joshua Levi Galleries. There are bands and everything.


Anonymous said...

Nice one Cam. I was pretty happy with The Hi-Fi overall. That was the best Drones set I've seen, too.

Swaying Buildings play Ric's at 4pm on Saturday. Might be up yr alley:

Cam said...

ah yes, i meant to list that one. i've seen them once before and they didn't really grab me, but maybe i'll check them out again.

Cam said...

oh, and as for the hifi i liked it more than this 'review' perhaps indicated. once they get it sorted out it should be good, and hopefully the sound will improve once they learn the room a bit better.

Darragh said...

Good blog, I pretty much agree with everything you say. I'm glad for the airconditioning!

Murdoch said...

I noticed last night that the HiFi has wall mounted video cameras high up on those crowd sections that run perpendicular on either side of the stage. So with any luck the live feed will be from those and not from some dude in the crowd with an annoying huge shoulder mounted camera and spotty.

Jody Macgregor said...

I was impressed with the sound quality for Friday and Saturday's gigs, presumably they fixed whatever issues they had there. Also impressed that they kept glassies circulating all night so that by the end it wasn't a mess of shards and booze like The Arena.