It’s extremely heartening to see the amount of love that is being shown to Cable Ties at the moment. Their debut album has been embraced by community radio and music publications around the country and the three launches being held in their hometown of Melbourne all sold out well in advance.
The last minute addition of The Peep Tempel to the lineup made so much sense it’s amazing that these bands don’t play together all the time. Peep are a rare breed that manage to strike a balance between artistic exploration and a very down-to-earth Australian attitude that both embraces and subverts traditional male rock’n’roll clichés. The punk rock nature of many of the songs and the power of the trio setup is complimented by Blake Scott’s literary lyrical leanings and the anthemic-like nature of so many of their songs, landing somewhere between footy chants and folk pop. In this way they can be seen as the latest in a line of classic Aussie rock bands that includes Cold Chisel, Paul Kelly, The Drones, and even a little bit of The Living End thanks to a few jazz chords and bass lines.
Their set was cut unceremoniously short when Stew Rayner’s bass amp gave out during Constable, which no doubt caused some degree of panic as they were sharing backline with the headliners.
Nevertheless after a short break and a scrambled car mission home to fetch a replacement amp, Cable Ties launched into a combative set that had the crowd immediately on-side.
There isn’t a whole lot of subtlety to what Cable Ties do – they play a very basic form of rock’n’roll and they do it well. Neither the songs nor the arrangements are complicated by design, instead their strength is the amount of conviction invested in their performance. Every exaggerated curled lip, punked out snarl and agitated shriek delivered by frontwoman Jenny McKechnie were delivered with 110% emotion.
Nick Brown’s simple but energetic bass lines helped to keep the rhythm in a state of propulsion while Shauna Boyle’s powerful drumming helped to act as an unwavering bed upon which McKechnie’s choppy punk guitar work was placed.
The adrenalin fueled political rant that is Say What You Mean was a highlight of the set, while Same For Me sounded every bit like a lost ‘70s pub rock classic and was delivered with huge reserves of energy.
No one is entitled to a career in music, but it does feel that this committed band deserves every bit of attention they are currently enjoying, and the crowd that filled this, their second sold out album launch, needed to no convincing.
Originally published in Beat Magazine #1585. Photo by Anna Madden.