The Australian band that recently changed from a quintet to a quartet was expected in Antwerp tonight. Validated by Henry Rollins himself and recognized as one of the freshest bands of the moment, the excitement was justified. Did they succeed in their mission ?
If you play rock, rock.
Crowded in the Club, it is clear that the Flemish audience keep this beautiful musical curiosity that we know them. When the bill is good or seems good, the public is present, something that we could be inspired by in the south of the country. The winners of the day are Roda Lits, one of the many garage rock bands from the northern lands. Like the Rolling Stones if they stayed on the dope, the band offers us a little old-fashioned rock, in which they revisit their young discography. The public is attentive but the gig suffer from a cruel acks of energy on stage in spite of the few jumps of the singer-guitarist. It must not be obvious to open for a band like CIVIC, doped with pure and hard energy, but we must admit that this opener is not transcendent. The compositions are great and they definitely have a good sense of rock’n’roll. All that’s missing is a little madness and fun.
From Black Flag to Cockney Rejects, there is only one step.
CIVIC arrives all smiles, Cristal cans in the hands and we can already feel that the level will go up a notch. Without a rhythm guitarist, we had doubts that the songs would be as tight as on the album…The first chords quickly took away any doubts ! With a set resolutely focused on “Taken By Force”, their last opus released in February, the band seems to have the intention to be straight in the face, with an HxC spirit represented by the singer who jumped into the pit from the first song, worthy son of Henry Rollins with a bit of Biafra. With some problems with the vocal mix, we took the same slap that when we discovered them on album rather quickly even with the absence of a true rhythm guitarist. The beer falls quickly on the ground in the small moshpit formed by “Taken By Force“, eponymous track of the second album and the singer even allows himself to share the microphone with a rather reserved audience, still knowing the lyrics by heart. Having become a real ice skating rink after this sad event, enjoy “Tell The Papers“, the hit track from the first album that the guitarist announces with a nice wink followed by a wild end with “Fly Song“, “Blood Rushes” and the destructive groovy final “Shake Like Death“. The concert ends on a beautiful note, and the musicians all smiles and cigarette to the lips leave a stage where they have given all their guts, the job is done.
What’s the recipe for a good show ?
Is there really one ? Between the overproduction of Beyonce or the simplicity of a local band, we find here something beautiful, straight to the point and that comes from a deep connection with the music they play. Nothing is to be proved, nothing has to be done, it’s just a punk-rock show. Here we feel, we share and we smilej in spite of a public rather on a listening mode that in the moshpits ! Sometimes, going to the essential is the way to do it, that’s the recipe from CIVIC, definitely born in the heat.
Yes, the audience was quiet, but CIVIC raised this one with a rare emotion, like a soft breeze in this Belgian spring. Mixing good references from old school punk-rock to HxC with a furious thirst for innovation, this is definitely one more band to follow in the batch of good Australian projects.
Setlist: Born In The Heat, End Of The Line, New Vietnam, Just A Fix, Trick Of Life, Call The Doctor, Time Girl, Selling, Sucking, Blackmail, Bribes, Taken By Force, Radiant Eye, Tell The Papers, Fly Song, Blood Rushes, Shake Like Death