ok ... it was worth the blood sweat and tears ... well maybe not the blood and tears, but certainly the sweat ... and there was a lot of it ... the John Curtin Hotel bandroom is a sauna of BO proportions. But we didn't care, we were in a musical zone of literary proportions ... we were here for The Books.
The Books are one of those rare finds in the world of music today. Their music is at once unclassifiable and also representative of all the elements of post 90s rock given annoying journo-speak tags like idm, folktronic, sampadelic etc .... for some peops this is exactly what is Now! and inspiring, for others is the worst excesses of indie rock bundled into one rudimentary and studiedly unsartorial package.
For me what separates them from the rest of the pack is their musical intelligence, technical skill and above all, their unmitigated sense of humour. If not for passionate friends (K & mostly M), The Books would have stormed into town and blown out without me even fingering my library card (despite the fact that I have 2 of their albums ... and you know Luke's rule!!). But I;m so glad I went. It was absolutely terrific. They are certainly an extremely entertaining band, partly because of their love of splicing bits of old videos and random sound drags from retro toys and pre-interhole gizmos in their music and visuals.
We were lucky enough to be right up the front. We would have barely seen the band if we were further back. in which case we would have missed out on witnessing the sheer mastery of fingering and bowing and plucking and sliding on stage.
They are not a band that travels widely, so I suspect that this would have been a rare gig indeed. Or they may have loved their time here so much, we may see more of them in the years to come. So if you do get another chance, go. You won't regret it.