21 September 2015

Made for our times

There was just one point when I was taken aback by how sophisticated was this music. Antipodes was playing at the Ainslie Arts Centre. These are a band of Sydney-based musicians, but a collaboration of Australians and New Zealanders. Locally, we know Luke Sweeting and Max Alduca well, having had them studying during the better days of our Music School. But I suddenly realised how perfect were the harmonies of the front liners, how neatly the bass line sat, propelling the music but unhurried and unforced, and the drums that seemed so understated then would come alive for a solo or a responsive fill or the guitar that delved into sequences and the rest but also could just be there, supportive, and Luke's piano, of course, ever present and ever apt. The sound all merging so neatly and correctly and satisfyingly. I thought of the careful, distilled music of CTI in the '70s. It had that air of clarity and refinement. Then to think of the tunes. These were all originals, and in 9 tunes there were four writers: three from Callum, two each from Luke and Simon, one from Jake. And all competent, interesting tunes. Another plus; another mark of sophistication. This is antipodean music of depth and content. I wonder if we still deserve this, in our era of destruction and immediacy. Ocean sounding song reminded Luke of ocean sounds (obviously enough). The Ditch was an apt concern for this antipodean mix. Anthem was the NZ anthem rearranged. Mister Bank was a dedication to a band that has Luke obviously admired in this travels. A few others with less obvious titles. Classy playing with deep intent. Too poorly attended, but like I wrote above, do we deserve such stuff as dreams are made on? Our times seem better suited to Hillary Duff's take than Antipodes'.

Antipodes are Jake Baxendale (alto), Luke Sweeting (piano), Callum Allardice (guitar), Simon Ferenci (trumpet), Max Alduca (bass) and Harry Day (drums). Antipodes played for the Confluence series at Ainslie Arts Centre.

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