Orion had opening honours on the first of Twerps’ two sold out nights and things weren’t looking promising after half an hour of vague attempts at tuning a guitar before a note was played. Once they got things sorted they proved to be an intriguing take on 80s goth music circa Joy Division and The Cure, establishing desolate yet danceable dark grooves.
The Garbage & The Flowers formed in Wellington, NZ in the late 80s before relocating to Sydney in the late 90s but those unfamiliar with the band would have been excused for thinking they had formed a week before this gig, such was their primitive, ramshackle approach to their songs and covers of Flying Burrito Brothers, the Byrds and Van Morrison. The influence of fellow jangly lo-fi bands like The Clean and The Bats was apparent and though they had a loose charm it was hard to relax and be transported by the songs when distracted by the feeling that it could all collapse at any moment.
Twerps took the stage to a full room and with Marty Frawley’s self-diagnosis of the early stages of laryngitis they launched into a consummate hour long set. They too are a band with strong sonic links to the Kiwi underground via their jangly, pastoral feel and the vocal approach of Frawley and Jules McFarlane – who brought to mind Denise Roughan of The 3Ds. It was also her guitar playing that more often than not provided the melodic focal point with hyper-catchy and economical chiming riffs. This year’s Range Anxiety album provided the high-points with I Don’t Mind, Back To You and Shoulders before they departed to the melancholic strains of Who Are You which echoed on as punters continued to hum and sing it as they dispersed into the night.
this review was first published in The Music