26 July 2019 at The Basement
It’s a cool winters night in Canberra, but inside The Basementthings are about to heat up. The Basement is really becoming one of the premier venues for the Canberra community, a lot of work has gone into it and the place is really looking outstanding. An intimate venue that can hold about 600 people with 3 bars, great food (Chompys), 2 stages and an acoustic area. The place is reaping the benefits of the work put into hosting massive international acts such as Phil Anselmo & The Illegals, Max and Igor Cavalera and Cradle of Filth returning for a second time in just over a year, to name a few. There are a number of big Aussie acts to have played and more coming as well; The Screaming Jets, Regurgitator,You Am I, Tonight Alive off the top of my head. Tonight, the focus is purely on Circles, headlining their own tour around Australia.
Circles are supported by local band Escape Syndrome. Escape Syndrome kicked off things with a high energy set that covered a good range of their work. Made up of Matt Faulkner (vocals), Matt Tennant (drums), Shane Faulkner (guitar) and Michael Rosser (bass), this is a great local band that has released a number of EPs and have a great new single out. There is a reasonable sized crowd on hand to watch the guys give their all on stage and put on a great set. The response from the crowd shows it’s really appreciated. Job done.
Next up is a bunch of young guys (ok I am showing my age now) from Ballarat known as Ebonivory, I haven’t heard much of them. These guys carry themselves and act like they belong on stage and proceed to warm the growing crowd up even more. Cajoling the crowd to come forward and enjoy the proceedings the guys bring their multi-faceted approach to metal music. These guys are good enough to go far given what they showed Friday night, the growing crowd at The Basement certainly appreciated what they brought to bear.
Then on to the main act, it was Circles chance to show us what they have. The gig has drawn a pretty reasonable crowd for the fickle Canberrans during winter. It’s cold and they don’t tend to turn up unless it is a very well-known band, which is a real pity as they don’t know what they are missing. The crowd that is here are very happy to see Circles as they great them with a big cheer as they take the stage.
The band is performing a mix of new material from last year’s The Last One and their back catalogue, these guys have just got better and better. I had first caught them as supports for Dead Letter Circus last December and was mightily impressed. However, in the seven months since then the band have become even more polished in their live show. Their stage presence is becoming more massive and very much aligned with a headline status. The music translates from the recorded albums well and as always with a live show sounds heavier and stronger. The guys don’t put a foot wrong and the crowd get right into it. All too soon it is over and the crowd don’t want them to leave.
I got to have a chat with front man Ben Rechter after the gig and he wasn’t sure what to expect from Canberra, but was pleasantly surprised with the turn out and response to the gig. Ben, the pleasure was all ours. Please come back soon.
Line-up: Circles, Ebonyivory, Escape Syndrome
Reviewer: Paul Kerr
Photocredits: Hold Still Photography