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The Dandy Warhols Offer Fanfare-Free Performance in Brisbane

The Dandy Warhols play the Tivoli, Brisbane




Words: Ben Preece

Photos: Chris Searles

As much as this writer adores the Tivoli and gets excited whenever a favourite band is announced as playing here, it's a difficult room to navigate when it's hosting a sold out show. Standing at six foot isn't near enough for the aggressive fans of The Dandy Warhols, let alone for my five foot four companion. It's Anzac Day evening and it's unclear if this audience has been overindulging the day drinking or if the metaphorical hangover from the band's once debaucherous reputation ins't lost on the hefty dudes lighting spliffs mid-set. Regardless, it is actually really unpleasant to be here tonight.

The Dandy Warhols, arranged in an ego-free line across the stage, jump right into 'Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth' the moment the swagger onto stage, their very typical nonchalant demeanour well intact. The sounds takes a minute to clear up as the four move through a set highlighting tracks from their latest album and return to form ROCKSHAKER. It's not a greatest hits set by any means, but the new material sits comfortably alongside the constant sprinkle of hits lifted from their catalogue. Regardless, no one is leaving unhappy. Imagine the roar as the opening bars of 'We Used To Be Friends' wind up, hands are in the for the <clap clap> in the verses and something of a physical frenzy starts for perhaps the first time.

It's all smiles onstage as frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor jokes about today being the only day they can't get an Anzac biscuit. It's Zia McCabe who steals the show for stage presence, however, all majestic with a fan strategically placed behind her and blowing her hair straight into the air, more akin Beyonce than what you expect from The Dandy Warhols, but it works for her. The band's trademark looseness as musicians begins to lock in beautifully as the set progresses, new songs 'The Summer Of Hate' and '

Danzig With Myself' firmly grasp the classic Dandies sound and deliver accordingly. Welcome To The Monkey House staples 'Plan B' and 'You Were My Last High' cop a huge reaction from their opening notes, but it's the stone cold classics of Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia that evoke frenzy. Firstly, Peter Holmström instantly recognisable guitar note intro of 'Godless' hangs in the air, teasing as Courtney's strum fades in beautifully and the rest of the band lock into one hell of a song. Of course, it's closely followed by 'Bohemian Like You', that song that they must be so sick of playing, yet is still the nostalgic banger that transports us back to literally every one of the Dandy Warhols' shows - big and small - of the past.

It's bizarre to consider that The Dandy Warhols are to to the millennials in the crowd tonight what The Rolling Stones are to the likes of me, the band that was passed down from parents. Given the legendary status the band continue to maintain, their cannon of fantastic, digestible songs and fanfare-free performance, it's no surprise.


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