Someone once said that the reason Melbourne produces so many dark, melancholic and moody bands is due to being 'stranded in a paradise at the end of the Earth, isolated from the rest of the world'. Which is possibly why so many musicians, the Spoils included, run off to seek fame and fortune elsewhere, but does gallivanting off in far-flung shores, acquiring fame and fortune change their music at all?The musicians, and they are real and proper skilful musicians capable of playing just about anything and making it seem astonishingly simple, that make up the Spoils are as varied and diverse as their audience, young, old(er), dressed like 19th Century gentlemen, dressed like American cowboys (and looking a little like Earl Hickey) and a little of everything in between. The Toff is a perfect venue for tonight's show, the venue is quiet, not empty, but full of an appreciative and attentative audience, the high-fidelity sound system installed allowing everyone to concentrate on all the nuances, subtleties and weaving melodies in the music. During the faster and more abrasive songs, the crowd begins to move and sway, but generally they are relaxed, leaning, crouching or seated, eyes fixed firmly forward, taking it all in and enjoying the skills and talents of the band to construct such absorbing melodies and rhythms.Tonight's show is a mixture of celebration and commiserations; it is the launch of their third album ('The Crook, the cloak and the maiden'), the final show with their saxophonist and two weeks before the band depart for another lengthy European jaunt, including their seemingly second home of France.
A band like the Spoils are an epitome of Melbourne (and Australian) bands, astounding musicians, hard working, professional, productive and full of universal appeal unyet in their home town they are playing a venue the size of the Toff (i.e. small) and have to constantly embark on lengthy and expensive tours to amass any kind of fan base or money. Bearing that in mind, looks like the melancholic, downbeat music of frustrated Melbourne musicians sunning themselves in the glorious summer heat wont be changing any time soon.
Published in Inpress