Saturday, 24 October 2009

Australia vs New Zealand - let the battle commence!

Let's get this established from the outset - I hate Australia. Who gives a fuck about the nice weather and multiples of beaches, when in the UK we have Glastonbury Festival, the Tate Modern, Edinburgh and Mike Leigh. And we've got Gordon Brown (yeah I know - but have you seen Kevin Rudd!?).

As Marcus Brigstock says:
"It takes someone with a real lack of imagination to only be able to enjoy themselves when the sun is shining".

I know this won't be a popular view, Australia is the Fendi of international travel. But I just don't understand it. I don't get why anyone would want to spend that long on a plane for a can of VB and a high risk of skin cancer. It seems even more ludicrious when just a few hours over the Tazman sea you have New Zealand.

Oh, lovely New Zealand with your glorious mountains, lakes and funny flightless birds. Give me a few hours in Lake Wanaka over a week in Cairns any day. Actually I'd take a few hours in Hull over a week in Cairns to be honest.

Having said all that something has happened recently to challenge my slightly zenophobic viewpoint. They wear funny hats and played beautiful synths and call themselves the Empire of the Sun. Over the course of 2009 I have become, oh, just a little obsessed with them. They're endlessly compared to MGMT, and of course there are some similiarities, but I think Empire have much more range to their music. Plus I think they're technically much better musicans.

Just as the first Aussie bomb landed in my earhole, along came another in the shape of The Temper Trap. The glorious Sweet Disposition went to number 1 in the iTunes chart and rightly so. It is an achingly beautiful track that I could listen to on repeat all day and not get bored. While the rest of the album isn't quite up to that high, and some of it is verging on slightly standard indie fare, there are other tracks, such as Science of Fear, that blissfully rock.

The Australia hatrick comes to you in the form of Little Red who seem to have transported Swinging 60s London to Melbourne. Not quite one for my playlist yet but they're good fun retro indie pop, which will put a smile on your face and a swing in your stride.

Back in NZ we of the Conchords???

I went to see Auckland band Pitch Black at the Rhythm Factory last night and half way through I realised I had drifted off and was thinking about what I was going to have for tea tomorrow night. Yes, sadly it was yet another NZ dub band and I'm a little tired of them. All the sounds I've heard before, they're just in a slightly different order. Isn't it time for something new? With the exception of Ladyhawke nothing very exciting seems to be coming out of NZ. If someone wants to correct me on this then please post your comments - I'm always open to new suggestions. In the meantime however I think I'll just go back to admiring your funny birds!

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