Mid-week gigs are always a mixed back for international acts. They really need to be pretty big names to ensure a full house. Some, even after some 30 years, can end up with a small room only half full and that is what New Orleans sludge veterans Eyehategod were faced with at the Cambridge Hotel’s smaller Warehouse room.
It feels like only yesterday that I was lucky enough to see Melbourne’s Circles supporting Tesseract at Sydney’s Metro Theatre. OK, so it was mid-September. However, in that time the band have been touring non-stop, including a jaunt to Europe and all that road time has paid dividends.
Despite already being a tight, taut and polished modern metal outfit, Circles dominated the Cambridge Hotel stage tonight with an obvious growth in confidence – not only in themselves, but also in the tracks off their latest album that make up the bulk of tonight’s set list. In fact, there didn’t seem to be a single song off their first EP to be heard. What's even more impressive is that they pulled this off with a fill-in bassist while Drew Patton was sidelined by a new baby. Just phenomenal.
Brisbane’s Dead Letter Circus has a long history of wowing audiences and listeners alike. Forming in 2004 (their debut album landing in 2010), singer Kim Benzie estimated that the band had played the Cambridge stage some six times over the years and tonight’s near-full house is testament not only to their memorable modern prog rock songs, but also a willingness to put in the long miles.
Tonight, they’re on fine form, with an extensive set list covering their entire catalogue. Some seventeen tracks have the Newcastle crowd wowed before a venue curfew sees them leave the stage without an encore. Frankly, if anyone is disappointed, they shouldn’t be. We were all treated to a night of some of this country’s best forward-thinking heavy music.