Co-Starter #1

Featuring: 3to2 + Mad Uncle + Nassology

Nassology: There were approx 80 people in the venue when I arrived at 11pm (approx 20 mins into their set) and there was a line of about 10 people at the door. Most people were seated approx 8-10 metres from the act in an arc around the act. ...and it helped that they had a good rent-a-crowd of parents and friends. No dancers. The act sounded quite good. They have improved since I last heard them. Their musicianship is quite good but stage presence could do with some spark.


Mad Uncle: Approx 100 people in the venue and this was after an obvious exodus of Nassology family. You could tell that most of them were there to see them play. People stayed sitting in the arc and there were some dancers. These guys were red hot. I have seen them play over a dozen times and this is the best set that I have ever seen them play. These guys are tight (as you should expect after four years together). Their new stuff was great. James's keyboard skills took me by surprise. I'd never heard a Mad Uncle song with keys but he switched mid-song from keys to guitar (whilst singing) very well. It was good to hear some of their older stuff even though they wouldn't play their even older stuff after I requested it (c'mon James... the rest of the band still want to play Vodka!!!). These guys enjoyed their gig and the crowd gave them huge cheers after every song. They had the audience's attention.


After talking to a fair few musos and industry people in the room (of which there was), Mad Uncle were given the thumbs up for their diversity and songwriting. Several commented on James's strong vocal range and vibrato and the associated harmonies. There were even comments about Lewie's animation on stage where whenever any of the others looked idle he'd go and ramraid them, even when playing a solo. Mad Uncle have made the transition from punk band to rock band very organically. Very nice set.


3to2: There was another exodus of Mad Uncle fans but there still would have been 80 people in the venue when these guys started. It was good to see people stopping outside to wonder what the hell was going on. The crowd would've built back up to nearly 100 by the end of the set. Once again... people sat in the arc but they would've had 20-odd of them dancing by the end of the set. These guys were shitting themselves before they went on. Blair reckoned that they were going to have problems with the rock crowd. As soon as DJ Plasma started to do an improv scratch to start the show, the hip-hop fans came straight out onto the dance floor. There were beanies, weird glasses and homie hand signals everywhere. 3to2 started off with an old track called First Timer because that is the main song they used to perform before moving to Melb. They had a strong show made up of heaps of waffle to and interaction with the crowd (this is quite often lacking in Tasmanian acts). The crowd responded extremely to being talked to and included rather than just being played to. 3to2 brought out the free Vodka shots for the crowd during their last song, JJJ rotated song 'Mixed Drinks'. They were even asked for an encore which they did as a complete improvised freestyle. This was well received.


Ross (the publican) was great and seemed to be very happy with the gig. Steve Kons MHA (owner of the pub) was there too to check it out. He said that he was very happy with it and acknowledged Mad Uncle and their local following. He said that it would be interesting to see how another gig would go if a current or former Burnie-based act was not included in the lineup. Ross had a grin on his face and was run off his feet with bar service.


Overall it was good to see the two former Burnie acts come back to the town. Co-starter #1 was a winner. The small stage makes it hard for the acts as they have to play on the floor and the whopping great pilon in the middle of the room affects viewing but having acts of the quality and experience of Mad Uncle and 3to2 make a huge difference. Having an experienced PA operator and hired double 3-way PA in there added heaps to the gig. It gave a presence in the room and certainly lifted the acts. Mad Uncle hired 2 x 4 can lighting tree and this added heaps to the atmosphere. The 'barflies' appreciated the atmosphere. Even the regulars who just come in because it is the Club Hotel commented on how it was like the Club Hotel of old. Some stayed out in the back bar but listen through the bar (the bar is double sided and serves both rooms).


The pub supported this gig by advertising in The Advocate, but the true publicity came from Mad Uncle and 3to2 knowing a lot of people and handed out flyers to heaps of people in the street. The Club Hotel were very supportive of this gig. They put a lot of cash on the line and were exposed to losing a lot. There was no door charge and yet they paid for the acts, the PA, the sound tech and advertising. They also threw on $10 jugs to get people into the spirit. Well done to all involved. A sound debut.

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