The Maze – Transit Bar 18th June
It had rained for nearly four days and the rainwater gathered in gutters shiny under Canberran streetlights. It was nice to be in the dry and warmth of the subterranean Transit Bar watching The Maze roll into town.
The night began with two support acts, the admirable and rhythmic Young Monks – who despite announcing that this was only their second gig played a set full of great jangling guitars and Duck Duck Ghost – led by the extremely lanky Alex who jived around the stage and captivated the crowd with the muscle of his voice and complex chord rhythms.
The supports were good, and having escaped the cold and found solace in the warm Transit it would still have had a good night out even had the night ended there.
The rest of the night belonged to the Maze though. Hailing from Woolonong they blazed out of the tracks from the start with the catchy 'On Your Own' – a song surely waiting for commercial exposure via a mobile phone TV ad or inclusion on the Fifa16 tracklist.
Their music warmed the cold night. The band were skilled at their art racing through a number of seductive tracks – their music echoing the cheek of the Arctic Monkeys, the balls of the Stripes and the quirkiness and irony of Pulp. The Maze had poetic depth beyond their years.
Every song had a killer rhythm - frontman Zac Gervaise wooed the crowd with nonchalant ease. Occasionally Zac scrounged bottles of beers from the crowd and sometimes he dipped his head and sang with incredible power and emotion. The songs were met with rapturous applause and a welcome encore made fine work of Britney’s “Baby Baby” and got people dancing.
I chatted to Bassist Angus Bradley afterwards. He told me that the band are all basically mates who were touring round as a result of receiving calls from assorted venues across Australia. They have plans to tour the UK ‘sometime’ but for now were going to a number of States (and Territories!) to see how they got on (they had just arrived from Adelaide that day). Alex was genuinely pleased with the reception given to the band by the crowd at the Transit. Such is life for a band on the road the band and equipment were driving back to Woolongong that night on board a 12 seater minibus (Angus said it was much smaller than it sounded).