Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Lou Barlow at Northcote Social Club

pics by sean m whelan

Saw Lou Barlow perform at Northcote Social Club on Thursday night.
Lou has been something of a indie rock god to me ever since the release of Sebadoh's Bakesale in 1994. Bakesale is one of those albums that i return so fondly to over and over again. A time machine that doesn't bite back.
When Sebadoh toured Australia on the back of that album I was witness to what was not only one of the worst gigs I've ever seen, it was also one of the best.
Lou was acting strangely all night. He kept stopping songs halfway through and appeared to be arguing with the other band members. At one point he broke his guitar somehow and it eventually culminated with him walking off stage in a temper. The gig was over, the lights were up and the house music was turned on when suddenly Lou returned to the stage alone with guitar in hand. He then proceeded to apologise profusely for his antics and followed up by playing the most hearbreakingly beautiful acoustic set for the next hour and a half! All my favourite Sebadoh songs, it was truly stunning.
Funnily enough he mentioned this infamous gig on stage, he joked about turning on the radio the next day and hearing a Melbourne DJ talk about what a 'jerk' Lou Barlow is!
This was one of many warm and quite funny anecdotes during the evening, nice punctuation to a great set of mostly current material embellished by guitar loops and occasional use of an Eno'ish sounding synthesizer.
He didn't let me down too by breaking out a few Sebadoh songs including possibly my favourite, 'Skull'.


LadyCracker said...

aaah, the good gig, the bad gig. Mine? anything at the Palace = bad (except QOTSA) and anything at The Forum = good.
xx LC

jane. said...

* poems please.

Sean M Whelan said...

LC - I'm inclined to agree with you there on there venues. Although there are a couple of exceptions, for instance I saw both Wilco and Flaming Lips at the Palace, two of the best gigs I've ever seen. Although I can't really think of a bad gig at the forum.

Jane - Poems! Yes! Sorry, the poetry well has been a bit dry lately. But hopefully the rains will come soon.

ps I just noticed I've reached 20,000 hits. Not bad for such a bad blogger like me.

Anonymous said...

you beat yourself up too much Sean, and you're such a lovely man.

Penny said...

Just out of curiosity, since y'all live in Australia and I'm in Canada..

..how do you feel about being called a 'lovely' man, Sean?

I am sure you are; I'm just curious. ..Kind of like how Italians are always described on their wines as being 'light and fruity'.

Don't take me too seriously.

Sean M Whelan said...

Hey anonymous. Well, thank you. And even though I don't know who you are, I think you're quite lovely too.
And Penny, I have no problem at all being described as lovely, I'm not sure how I'd feel about being called 'fruity' however. ;-)