I was a real groupie the other day, for the first time since I left Perth. I usually prefer to listen to live music cabaret style, with a table of good friends, liquid refreshment and no risk of a head-banging fan landing on my newly polished toenails! (my toe nails are ugly enough as it is). So I am a reluctant gig-goer at the best of times. One thing I do like to do, though, is support the bands that contain people I know and tonight I was finally invited to a friend's brother's gig. Walking into The Standard was like walking into the Grosvenor in the good old days of 2000 – plenty of boys with perfectly messy barnets, plenty of girls in perfect alternative outfits and the smattering of normal people who are usually old chums of or related to the band. I was introduced to Kate's brother - red-headed like his sister, he sported a flawlessly coiffed seventies mullet in deep copper. I was impressed with the grooming. Then I noticed that the crowd had a soothing seventies mullet atmosphere – the fans were sporting the same hairstyle as the band. Very impressive.
Once on stage I have to give The Shots top marks for pure entertainment, repertoire and variety. They were tight, talented and very, very marketable. A few weeks ago, while gate-crashing another event, we got talking to a woman who managed a talent agency for musicians. Matt, Monica and I started picking her brains for the secrets of the pop music industry and one particular part of the conversation intrigued me – commercials. This woman was talking about discovering a track that could be used for commercials because there was big money and a lot of exposure for such a song and it's band. This made a lot of sense to me at the time.
Fast forward again to tonight and The Shots on stage. While a little indulgent with the guitar solos they have all the elements of a band with longevity – toe-tapping 60's style rock homage's, flawless a cappella chorus', rock stars screams, crisp 1 second silences, strong vocals and a real variety of songs that stood out from each other while forming a rounded set. Kate's brother graduated dux of rock guitar college - while the other guitarists played their guitars, he danced with his guitar, using all the kicks, splits and jumps with a kind of absorbed trance that convinced you his heart was more into the rockier tunes. The other guitarists were a elfin brunet who lurked prettily in the middle of the stage and the other vocalist, a brooding and dark boy with a gorgeous voice for crooning. The four-piece was rounded off with a blond drummer who looked for all the world like he just wanted to surf, dude.
I sat there, my foot twitching during the 60's style tunes (I adore dancing to 60's music) and my head rocking during the rock tunes, thoroughly enjoying myself when they launched into a song that literally screamed out 'this could be a brilliant single' and struck me as a shining example of what the talent scout had described as the song for a commercial. My mind made the connection and suddenly I thought to myself 'wow, I want to buy that car ...' I am not sure The Shots would appreciate being associated forever now with a song that could sell a car but maybe I could persuade them to send it in and they could buy their own car on the proceeds.