On a hot and barmy New Years Eve, The Corner provided an incredibly fun and enjoyable night with which to bring in 2012. Five bands, thirty bucks. An infinitely better offer than those over hyped parities where you pay triple to see double. Local band High Tea opened up the evening with a cracking set, many arriving punters discovering them for the first time.

Specialising in really compelling excursions in noise, High Tea have a great sonic loud/quiet/loud dynamic to them, and some interesting and highly eclectic influences. One can hear everything from The Stooges to Ennio Morricone in what they do, particularly the latter on “Stand And Deliver”, which sounds like it belongs in a spaghetti western. A really enjoyable way to open up proceedings.

Next up was Brisbane artist Seja Vogel. Part of synth rock band Sekiden, Vogel has been playing keyboards and synths with Regurgitator since 2007, helping to flesh out the band’s musical palate, especially on a live front. Tonight, she performed a short solo set and a very enjoyable one at that. Providing a nice contrast to High Tea, she played songs off her solo album with the rather striking title of We Have Secrets But Nobody Cares. Featuring great electro pop tracks like “Delay” and “I’ll Get To You”, Vogel’s solo set was a lovely and diverting inclusion.

Ouch My Face hit the stage running and basically didn’t stop for the entire set. A band that specialise in a kind of noise rock that can rearrange your insides, what is most distinctive about the band, apart from their brilliant name, is diminutive singer/screamer/guitarist Celeste Potter.

Possessing a voice that be described in many ways, such as PMS set to music, screaming banshee or a voice that could shred paint, Ouch My Face really stand out from other bands of their ilk. Tonight’s set featured some new material like the astounding “I”, based around a high pitched guitar sound that would have sent the dogs around Richmond right off.

Other highlights included “Knockouts”, with that rumbling bass ably provided by Ben Ely, pulling double duty tonight by also being part of Regurgitator. The set closed with the sensational “Buildings”. One does wonder if singing like that might leave some permanent damage to Potter’s voice. A really great set from an interesting and entertaining band.

The fourth act this evening stuck out like a sore thumb. Lewis Floyd Henry, from the United Kingdom, specialises in a modern take on the blues. Playing a gorgeous, B.B. King style Gibson Les Paul hollow body guitar, a toy drum kit and a harmonica, he truly is a one man band. However, what started off so promisingly soon lost the interest of the gathering crowd.

Although a great player, especially on the guitar, his act came off as a pastiche and somewhat of a novelty act, one that was completely misplaced in the context of the evening. Too good a musician to be written off completely, too novel to be taken completely seriously, although the more intoxicated in the crowd were getting into his music, he was somewhat of a misfit for the evening.The majority assembled started jostling for good positions in front of the main stage waiting for Regurgitator to perform.

Regurgitator. The ‘Gurge. Emerging from Brisbane in the early nineties, Regurgitator proved themselves to be at the forefront of the burgeoning indie scene in Australia at the time. With their taste for pushing and experimenting with sound and genre, they became one of the most popular bands locally of the time. Having been a bit quiet for the past few years and pursuing other projects, such as Ben playing with Ouch My Face, the band have been on something of a hiatus. That all came to an end this evening on what was a ridiculously enjoyable stroll down memory lane, along with some great new tracks from the band.

There was a fire and spark and a sense of energy that had been missing from the band’s live performances for some time. The crowd and their utterly joyous reaction to the band’s set was a great indication of a band rediscovering their mojo. Featuring some great tracks like “Bong In My Eye”, “I Wanna Be A Nudist” and “Everyday Formula”, the crowd, mostly a somewhat older one, were taken back to their younger and more impressionable days.

The band previewed some new tracks during their primarily greatest hits set, such as “Track 1” and “Game Over Dude”. These tracks stood up really well when put next to the band’s older material. However, it was the older stuff that sent the crowd right off, singing, dancing and pogoing almost to the point where they were about to hit the roof.

Fortunately, this was a crowd that was in an incredibly positive mood, especially at the countdown to New Year’s Eve. Many Regurgitator gigs in the late nineties were marred by an increasing number of dickheads in attendance, wanting to cause violence or mindlessly crowd surfing while wearing steel capped boots. There are only a certain amount of times you can cop injuries like Doc Martens to the head from idiots who aren’t even there for the music. Thankfully, there was none of this tonight.

The older material, such as “Polyester Girl”, the cutest song about a sex doll ever written, and “The Drop” got the biggest response from the crowd. It was also great to hear lesser known songs such as “Mr T”, with it’s seventies funk and soul vibe, and the utterly frenetic “I Piss Alone”, which sent the crowd into a moshing frenzy. The night ended with an almighty version of one of their best tracks, “Kung Foo Sing”, with lead singer Quan Yeomans brilliantly tapping into the rapper within.

A really fun, sweaty and reassuringly rowdy way to bring in 2012. Welcome back, Regurgitator.

– Neil Evans