Monday, 30 August 2010

Spotlight on The Bell Divers

Busy busy busy weekend. I visited the Alley on Friday night and had a few too many [some thoughts to follow this week, perhaps today].

As I was saying last week, Collapse Board is now up and running. I submitted my first article on the weekend, a spotlight on local group The Bell Divers. You can tell I'm a fan. Here is a snippet.

Meet me in the games room and fuck me on the pool table.

Compelled by wistful melodies and punctuated by a series of odd characters, the songs of The Bell Divers are like novelettes, often exploring the realities faced by those most vulnerable to the pressures of today’s world. These might include homeless vagrants, criminals, and others, whose voices can be drowned out by a world obsessed with aesthetics and status. Other narratives investigate the well-trodden path of love and loss, juxtaposed with brutality and violence that is often stated with a matter-of-fact demeanour that a more conservative listener might find shocking or immoral. Still, it makes for interesting listening.

Life in a caravan, life with these brutal men.

I came to know of The Bell Divers through my two house-mates whom I lived with in Red Hill a few years back. They had occasionally played in the band while the group were still finalising their line up and were waiting for members to return from overseas. Naturally, I found myself going to some of the earlier gigs and listening to demos and all the other things sociable share house dwellers do.

There’s a little girl spread across the road and I don’t feel blue.

At the band’s heart are Clinton Toghill and Matthew Lobb, occasional penpals prior to beginning the group, the duo met in London to discuss the possibility of collaborating, before relocating back to South East Queensland in 2006 to make the project a reality. Filling out the band with the usual assortment of instruments (bass, percussion, keys), The Bell Divers played fairly regularly throughout the city, supporting the likes of The Fauves when they ventured up from the south, and also playing at some fairly unconventional venues such as Ithaca Pool and at a cake stall at a local community hall in Bardon. They quietly released their debut record June, July in 2007, which they recorded somewhere south of the border with Tim Whitten.

Have a read of the rest over at Collapse Board.

Also, The Bell Divers have a new tumblr blog, complete with some nuanced musings courtesy of Matt Lobb. It's quite entertaining.

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