“They’re all completely bonkers.”
This band have all the might and beauty of un Cheval Mallet and once you ride this horse you will never dismount.
Last time I saw A Void the show ended with the lead singer and guitarist, Camille Alexander, climbing across a light fitting which soon came crashing down on top of her, then charging through the crowd while audience members held her blood stained guitar towards the heavens
This time the sonic-grunge 3-piece come to the Nambucca stage 50% naked. Camille in a big fur coat which she drops to reveal a patterned blue bikini, and the bass player, Aaron Hartmann, wearing a tiny pair of shorts, swimwear goggles and flip flops.
The moment they start playing a switch is flipped and Camille turns into an all screaming, all dancing, all grunge cornucopia of emotion with eyes like Caligula after a week in Alcatraz. Not to be outdone, Aaron starts jittering around the stage with the energy of a wild Dokkaebi, throwing out bass lines like the love child of JJ Burnell and Les Claypool. He crashes into a cymbal stand and sends it tumbling down but the resulting break in drums as Marie Niemiec fixes the kit only adds more power to the impeding drop.
As well as a high octane post-punk infused performance, A Void are able to deliver gentle, melancholic guitar lines and raw emotional lyrics which Sonic Youth wish they had written. The perfect marriage of the two comes when the band break into Lame (a classic from their first album). Aaron glides through a melodic, trebly bass line while Camille’s dissonant, shimmering guitar tones float along the surface, all held together by a straightforward, pounding beat from Marie as we kick into some ruthlessly personal lyrics.
“Holding my life in the palm of your hands, with which I trust you not to play.” LameA Void
“Aaron, show them your tits!”
– Camille Alexender –
“Aaron, show them your tits!” Camille says, tuning her guitar between songs, “Oh, you already are… Why does no one care when Aaron does it?”
Aaron and Marie drift between catchy grooves, filling the space while their guitarist adjusts her instrument. Then something happens. A chordal bass line breaks out. A scratchy, shimmering guitar tone enters. Then an explosion of grinding, overdriven riffage, a cry of “Un, deux, troi, quatre!” and before you know it a venue full of people are chanting “She threw her baby from the seventh floor!”. The ultimate seal of approval comes towards the end of the set when the band collapse dead to the floor and a voice in the crowd murmurs, “They’re all completely bonkers.”.
As an encore the trio rise from their comatose state and break out Jeopardy, a song from their debut EP. A shrieking, pounding, squealing, distorted, nirvana homage layered with that beautiful voice which can sing you to sleep only to turn around and give you nightmares. A tumultuous wave of super sonic sounds building towards one final overdriven feedback crescendo which the band leave droning as they exit the stage.
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