Monnone Alone @ Smiths – A Review

Monnone Alone. Fri, June 7 at Smiths Alternative, supported by Waterford and Mikey Shanahan
Reviewer: Andrew Tatnell

We went along to see Monnone Alone in the seductive atmosphere of Smiths. We mainly went, not because we had heard of the main act, but because we wanted to see Waterford who did not disappoint. More about them later.

If you’re not prepared for the genre, Monnone Alone can take you by surprise, in a ‘love-it’ or a ‘what-epoch-is this-anyway?’ kind of way. To the un-familiar ear (like mine) the songs are tight, upbeat rollercoasters that just start, and then stop, with no warning on the label.

The vocals have precise de-tuned delivery, that is at least endearing, and at best genre-refining. The lyrics are laconic urban stories with a bedroom delivery, accompanied by fun between-song banter.

The guitar work was mostly full at strum in the upbeat songs, casual licks and leads in the slower songs, all with a crunchy Vox-crisp accuracy. The bass player was 51% of the theatre, superbly delivering much of the musical interest through excitingly diverse riffs, intricate runs and odd socks. Drums were equally superb, if a bit challenging for the mix in the intimate venue.

The support acts rounded out the night making it a memorable and pleasure filled evening at a ridiculously low door price!

We were also treated to Mikey Shanahan and his brother. They play dangerous songs about the ‘little’ things that make Canberra special – like the lakes, monuments, suicide, cycling, murder and the perils of Campbell and surrounds.

Despite the urban material, they deliver a country banter that makes you wonder if they are secretly from a small town with a name like ‘Yaouk’. Luckily, they didn’t bring out any banjos. Their heartfelt songs are available on $5 CD.

And then Waterford. Great songs, ever accurate vocals with a perfectly slotted rhythm section that makes you sit back in your seat and just enjoy. Just when you get comfortable, along come the flawlessly melodic lead adventures that put you on the edge of your seat, making the joint rock (back and forth), and unfold its arms to bask in the stylish performance.

With strong and interesting songs, including one that paints a picture of outer Belconnen suburbia as an important part of the actualisation of the human spirit, it leads you to wonder if Canberra could eventually compare with the sacred Musicopolis of Melbourne.

Waterford, definitely underselling themselves, they are worth at least $6.99 of the unsupportive $7 door price.

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