The Capitol Saturday October 31 (1998)

review by Matt Thrower
Rave Magazine 18-11-1998

This was a night for people who like their guitars giddy. Gaslight Radio are one of those bands who can rock if they need to, but also provide audiences with a more mysterious element to their music, which was shared by their two support acts.

Shuriken make the sort of teeth rattling guitar pop favoured by My Bloody Valentine and early Ride, using a frequently instrumental approach. When a vocal comes in it's distant, covered by crashing waves of echoing electric guitar and grinding rhythm. Tonight, the motionless and silhouetted
band members churned out some deafening but always attention grabbing sounds for a well mannered relaxed Capitol crowd.

Then it was Minimum Chips' turn to keep us hypnotised. With some assistance from a couple of New Romanticesque robotic dancers, this was the Minimum Chips sound I like to hear, as opposed to their more peculiar work supporting Tortoise earlier in the week. A mantra-like effect was conjured by simple guitar and keyboard melodies. The vocals melded well with the heady surrounds and the overall atmosphere was warm and inviting.

By the time Gaslight Radio came to the stage, a healthy little crowd had gathered to see the former Gold Coast residents play one of their irregular Brisbane shows. In the live situation, Gaslight Radio's sound was more muscular than on their tranquil new album, Hitch on the Leaves, largely due to a particularly punchy rhythm section. The combination of old and new songs sounded unified while also illustrating the subtle progression in the band's music.

This is a band that get get pumped and enthusiastic when they think they've played a song well, but appear very cross when they don't. To my ears this was a fantastic set, but the Cooke brothers looked pissed off when they didn't think a particular number cut the mustard. These shifts in moods made their on-stage personas unpredictable, but also gave you the freeling that these boys were pushing themselves to play as well as possible. It appeared to work for them, because this was tasteful, atmospheric rock, rich in hooks, covered with echoey cvocals and euphoric guitars.

Many Gaslight Radio songs have slow tempos, but every song at this show had an emotional quality and a non-nostalgic sense of excitement that took cues from The Birds, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Velvet Underground and everywhere inbetween.

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