Hunting Grounds

Tara Emily on 23 July 2012 in Gig Reviews

Hunting Grounds

Performing on 12th July 2012 @ The LuWow

Less then a week after the release of their debut album, In Hindsight, the Ballarat sextet Hunting Grounds threw a rocking party in its honour.

The invited guests were greeted at the door with a stamp the length of their forearm, then directed down a corridor towards an unlimited bar tab and a vibe that was both relaxed and excited. The boys themselves were eager to mingle with the rest of the party and seemed relieved that finally they could celebrate their album that, so far, can be called a massive success.

The invitation promised attendees a set from previously unheard DJs, Juan Pablo Family Hour – who turned out to be the secret stage name for a surprise performance from Yacht Club DJs, those rascals!

Frequently referred to as the ‘Mash Up Kings’, Yacht Club never seem to do wrong and there was no exception to this particular performance. However, in spite of this massive backing, they struggled to get people moving. This was no doubt because people were at the party to see a rock band; mashed music just didn’t seem to make the cut.

The boys of the hour came on stage having changed out of their previous clothes into their iconic white buttoned-all-the-way-up shirts. Everything looked and seemed perfect.

Disaster. A guitar broke. After a quick look at each other, dual singers/frontmen Lachlan Morrish and Michael Belsar saved the night by sharing one guitar between them. When one of the boys was singing, the other played the guitar. Phew, back on track.

Disaster. An amp blew. Again the lads’ quick thinking treated the crowd to a John Farnham cover while the technical issue was sorted out. But, finally, everything was where and how it should be.

Disaster hat-trick. The snare broke. By this stage Belsar laughed, “Welcome to our album launch, where many things go wrong.”

It was lucky for the boys that no one gave a damn about technical woes, because on the musical side it was damn amazing. Playing In Hindsight in its entirety, the crowd stood by and attempted to soak as much of it in as possible.

By the time the set and all the ‘thank-yous’ were finished, the floor of the Luwow was covered in sticky alcohol, questionable dirt and broken glass. This reviewer is embarrassed to admit that the latter caused one person to wake up the next morning with a sore head and a sliced-open hand.

To round it up, pretty much none of the instruments worked, there was enough free booze to knock out an army and the night ended with at least one tetanus shot. Can you get more rock and roll than that?

- Tara Emily

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