T-Break heats, 2002

Perth - 15th May


Dance to the Radio(tones)

As suggested in the review of the King Tut's heat, Tbreak shows can be very hit-or-miss due to what's sometimes described as the 'eclectic' nature of music in this country. So openers Cholo - much acclaimed in certain quarters - set the scene. An odd collective with a feel of the Happy Mondays, but with nods to the creativity of Beck in places, some neat scratching, a welcome revival of the theremin, and some very creative use of sound, almost cover all areas of what we term 'alt.dance'. And unusually for an act of this sort, come across way better than they do on record.
Autisuggestion kind of fill in the alt.dance pop hinted at above. Actually a member of Cholo and a Badly Drawn Boy lookalike to boot, this one-man band makes some awesome noises who seem completely out of place in the Ice Factory's chicken-in-a-basket setting. A flurry of scratches and samples it makes the likes of DJ Shadow seem staid. He ends with a sample of 'Transmission' ('Autosuggestion' would have been more appropriate but wouldn't have worked quite as well) which gets quite disturbing as the loop loops itself inside out.
All very much 21st century, but The Radiotones then take us back 100 years or so.. Despite tuning problems salvaged by the rhythm doing some good improv they make some pretty authentic blues nicely updated to an electric band; 'Bring My Baby Back' is a pop song to grace any decade.
Pacman 3 by comparisons dated. opening song kicks off with a good beat and promises something, like Spiritualised, but they bring on sneering vocals and come across like pub rockers. This is the pattern for their set. Their last song of the set improves by virtue of an imaginative tune, but by then it's too late for me.
finally Barefoot (pic, left) are a mix, like so many acts, of Stiff Little Fingers and emo, Well, to be fair they have the neat jerky rhythms of Jawbreaker on a few songs but do borrow heavily from SLF - lifting the riff from 'No More of That', I think, at some point. Ah well, better than stealing Sum41 riffs I guess. And rather them in the Tbreak Tent than the Cosmics again!