Major Tom & The Atoms @ The Evelyn
A gig that could have been labelled 'How Little Red spent their summer vacation'. LR bass player Quang Dinh opened the night with his side-project, the creatively titled Quang Dinh And Band, setting the mood perfectly for a night of indie-Melbourne rock.
Second drop was The Red Rockets Of Borneo, who took to the stage all out-fitted in black and red, as if The Hives or The White Stripes never happened, but good luck to them anyway. They are a super-tight outfit, although they did seems to suffer from egotistical lead singer syndrome (ELSS). Perhaps he grows on you though. Sharp edged rock'n'roll. Then on to the headliner.
The first time I ever saw Little Red, they were cutting through our campsite at Meredith. They were young, gangly, still weirdly geeky looking and more than happy to chat about their music. The last time I saw them was a sell-out at The Palace, they were all super hip, more haircut than men, riding the wave of Hottest 100 success. It takes some pretty big stones to walk away from a band doing that well, and that is what Tom Hartney has done. His new band, Major Tom & The Atoms, despite the name, are not a David Bowie cover band. They are also not Little Red light, which is what I was expecting based on their singles. The promise of dirty, '60s garage rock got me through the door but was not the reality on the night. MT&TA are a different beast, far more psychedelic rock then I think anyone was expecting. There was even a moment reminiscent of Alice Cooper in the track Jack The Ripper. Hertney is a great front man and dead-ringer for a young Rod Stewart. His baritone voice is a joy to listen to, so all the more the shame that he has left Little Red for a project that doesn’t know what it wants to sound like yet. It was a bit of a muddle, but a well put together muddle. Given time to find their feet, Major Tom & The Atoms could well be an outfit to challenge Little Red, but not yet.
BY JACK FRANKLIN
LOVED: The sax player.
HATED: Egotistical lead singer syndrome.
DRANK: Pints, always pints.