Grasshole, Mayhem for Mary, Long Holiday & Seas of Valoria @ The Bearded Lady

What a great night at the Lady.
line up

The track Ze Empire from Brisbane based, alternative, gutsy rock throbbers, Mayhem for Mary, has been enjoying lots of love from 4ZZZ of late, so when I saw the band was playing at the Bearded Lady I couldn't resist coming down to check them out. The rest of the line up tonight sounds pretty sick too, so I am planning to make a night of it.

Mayhem for Mary are the first band on the bill for tonight and it's great to see a healthy sized crowd out to support them. I don't know who Mary is or why she deserves mayhem, but she could do worse than receiving mayhem in the form delivered by Mayhem for Mary. If I have confused you by the previous sentence allow me to make one thing perfectly clear – Mayhem for Mary f**king rock!!! This music has twists, turns and bends you don't see coming and it is smashing.

I go to lots of gigs, I have seen hundreds of bands over the years and only a handful of them have left the kind of impression Mayem for Mary is making as I watch and listen to them execute their set tonight. Of course I am using the term execute as a verb meaning - dispense something that is needed and not as a verb meaning - to kill, murder or eliminate. I also choose to use the term 'execute' because to me it evokes a sense of precision and deliberateness which is the vibe I am getting from the gifted trio carving up the stage in front of me.

Instrumentally, Mayhem for Mary is essentially a two piece, if all you are counting are the instruments you play with your hands, but lead singer Keith brings an instrument like no other in the form of his vocals. I am pretty sure I have never heard a voice quite like his before and I would not be surprised if I never do again. I'm not even sure I can find words to aptly describe the sound. There is a guttural element present adding a lovely gritty undertone, overlaid by warm, thick, melodic notes. Keith is backed brilliantly by Wes who gets more sounds out of his bass guitar than there are bubbles in soda. In fact, right now, he is making his guitar sound like it is being played underwater. Finally, Laurence, who is simply an amazing drummer completes the triad. Be sure to get out and see M4M play just as soon as you can, they are totally worth it.

Next up are a couple of bands from Melbourne. Long Holiday are a duo fronted by the phenomenal female guitarist and vocalist Gina Holiday. The sound is grungy, fuzzy and fabulous. There is plenty of shredding with melodic fills. Long Holiday are perfect for lovers of meaty, kick ass guitar driven numbers. I don't know what kind of voodoo duos perform to get the sounds they make out of just two instruments but whatever it is I'm glad they know how to make it and I'm presuming no chickens die in the process.

Grasshole are next in the Mexican section of this line up tonight. I'm getting serious Foo Fighter slash Soundgarden vibes from Grasshole which is very pleasing to me. The FF comparison is being made easier by the fact lead singer and guitarist, Karis bears more than a passing resemblance to the Grohlmeister himself. Grasshole are a father and son outfit, Karis is accompanied by dad, Rick on the drums and both are backed by solid bass lines from Fredrik the Swedish bass player. The band is touring their latest single Van Inhalin which confirms in my mind this trio don't mind a bit of word play. Grasshole is definitely a band I would line up to see again, I am truly loving the juicy grunge, spiced up with tasty hooks and a flourish of exceptional time changes. The final drawcard for why I am loving Grasshole so much - Karis is playing a see through guitar; nuff said.

We come to the final act tonight, Seas of Valoria. Every band tonight has been super amazeballs and Seas of Valoria are no exception. What a powerhouse of sound these guys are unleashing on our earpits. Seas of Valoria come with a warning: Strap in before you go for the ride. Strong lead vocals are backed by flashy, Steve Vai style, guitar fills which are catchy as hell. This band pushes out some serious body smashing, head thrashing, hair flying, super charged tunes. There is no way I'm going to be able to sleep after this.

What a fantastic night and how great it is to see so many people out supporting live original music. It's a group hug moment and knuckle bumps all 'round. I wonder at people who prefer to be at home watching the box in preference to being here. I just don't get them. This has been so much fun.

Janelle

Zed Facts

Before 4ZZ could start broadcasting in 1975, a transmitter was ordered from the U.S. But after it was lost on the dock in New York, 4ZZ's chief engineer at the time Ross Dannecker built the station's first transmitter.