Late last year, 4 nights before Christmas, I went to the HiFi Bar in Melbourne to see Augie March. I was really excited about seeing them as I’d been a big fan since I first heard ‘One Crowded Hour’ over a year earlier.
Supporting acts included Laura Imbruglia (yes, she’s Natalie’s sister, and she wasn’t too bad) and five piece soul/punk/rock band Ground Components.
Little did we know that the Ground Components were going to be the highlight of the show.
You see, due to the apparent heavy drinking of Augie March’s lead singer and his desperate need to tell long rambling stories about nothing, combined with the 20 minute Kris Kringle the band made us suffer through in the middle of the show, theirs was the most disappointing gig I have ever been to.
The night would have been a complete waste if it were not for the Ground Components. They were awesome. I’m struggling to describe it actually…
When they were setting up we actually thought they were the roadies, getting the gear organised for the band. One man, who turned out to be the lead singer, was wearing brown Adidas shorts and a ratty shirt. Another man, who we later found out was the keyboard player, was wearing a red Hawaiian shirt and thongs.
Then all of a sudden, they were playing. And they were madmen. Absolute madmen.
Joe McGuigan, he of the Adidas shorts and intense, crazy eyes, was singing so loudly and passionately that I’m very glad I wasn’t part of the crowd standing immediately in front of the stage. They must have gotten really wet.
Dallas Paxton, the Hawaiian shirt wearing keyboard player, was jumping around like a mad thing, kicking his legs in the air, writhing about on the ground in between chords. It was insane!
The energy of the band was overpowering and I couldn’t stop laughing the entire way through, I was so taken aback by how big it all was – big sound, big lights, and completely over the top behaviour.
And it was absolutely sensational.
I’ve posted a few of their tracks below, but I think they are a band that works much better as a live act – you just don’t get a real sense of their sheer exuberance on a studio recording.
I will say this though – if you ever get a chance to see them live, make sure you take it. It’s definitely an experience.