My second post-work beer is a mistake that makes me late. I get into the back room of Brunswick’s Retreat Hotel halfway through Nathan Seeckts’ set. He’s first in the running order, followed by two of Hobart’s best exports since salmon and former Australian test captain Ricky Ponting, Canada-bound Quivers and The Sunday League, who are launching not one, not two, but three singles in one night.
By all reports Nathan Seeckts had been “going for it”, and he continued to go for it for the rest of his set. He belted out love songs to both women and whiskey, which he toasted to between songs, and closed on the heartfelt ‘Whiskey Drunk’, the song I felt was his strongest, and an emotive note to end on. Seeckts bantered with his audience for the half of the set I saw, cracking jokes about Chekhov’s gun and Jamieson’s Whiskey, and generally looking at ease on stage.
People continued to flutter into the back room, which I believe doubles as a dining room of sorts, given the specials board on the wall, including a very appealing-sounding “curry and a pot for $15” deal, while Quivers set up. They introduced their newest member, drummer Joanna Syme, also of Big Scary, who had played a Nirvana cover on Triple J’s Like A Version just the day before, which led into a surreal few bars of ‘Come As You Are’, before Quivers returned to their semi-melancholic brand of jangle-pop. They played the majority of their debut album We’ll Go Riding on the Hearses (which The Sunday League front-man James Woodberry recorded bass on and subsequently toured), an album centered on “road-tripping with ghosts” and followed that up with some newer tracks from their forthcoming follow-up, which I understand has begun recording.
The Sunday League enjoyed the same warm welcome as both of their preceding acts, and dove straight into one of the three singles they launched simultaneously: ‘My Time’, a humble song about full-time employment, going on strike, tea, and sticking it to the man. The majority of The Sunday League’s music is based very closely on real life, including very visual anecdotes: “Playing cricket against the headstones in the graveyard across the road”, and “Driving up the Midlands Road / It’s the middle of June, freezing cold”. This gives every song a very accessible and almost homely feel, like hearing stories from loved ones. The most conceptual song lyrically is another of the three singles ‘And It Breaks’, a six-minute belter with a gripping build up and satisfying explosion when the chorus does hit. “Writing a letter / Taking my time / He’s climbing a mountain / and casting a line / and it breaks!”
The Sunday League polish off a strong set with their two previous singles, ‘Monday’ and ‘Against the River’ (Quivers’ lead singer Sam Nicholson in another nice example of cross-pollination between the two bands). Both songs are well received and enjoyed by the crowd who can presumably all understand the struggles and mundanity of full-time employment and the struggle to find something a little more fulfilling. It is an emotional goldmine tapped into very well by all three acts, and everyone goes home satisfied.
Nathan Seeckts’ newest EP, A Man Possessed, is out now.
Quivers are about to tour Canada. Their debut album We’ll Go Riding On The Hearses, is out now.
The Sunday League’s singles are available now, with a self-titled album to follow in May.