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March 14, 2011 | by  | in Music |
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Ginger Brown and Nudge, Newtown Community Hall, Friday 4 March

This casual BYO gig at the Newtown Community Hall was technically part of the Newtown Festival, which has expanded from a street fair into a plethora of gigs and events in Newtown. As well as the delight of music scene stalwarts Ginger Brown and the newly-formed-from-bits-of-other-bands Nudge, a vegan meal was on offer for $5 on top of the $10 door charge.

Three-piece Ginger Brown don’t seem to be doing too many gigs these days, so it was a treat to catch their distinctive and danceable psychedelic, surf-influenced rock. The mostly instrumental songs are led by a swirly Hammond organ and anchored by superb drumming. There’s a big, obvious, 60s/Doors influence going on, but it manages to be neither cheesy nor predictable. An appreciative crowd called them back for an encore.

Opening act Nudge were also a three-piece with a Hammond, but it was Ryan Prebble’s singing and soulful guitar playing that were the more obvious feature of their music. It’s awesome to see musicians this skillful being truly adventurous and messing with song structures, timing and melodies. They held my attention through many a lengthy jam section and displayed an impressive disregard for style and genre boundaries, all while keeping everyone’s feet moving. One to watch.

The night went off magnificently, with just enough happy, dancing people to fill the hall and yet none of the troubles that typically plague BYO events—obscene drunkenness and druggedness/fighting/under-agers/noise complaints. Is this the start of further cheap, awesome gigs in Newtown? I hope so.

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