By Bette “look, I’ve never really written a review before” Ward

Friday the 26th of June saw the release of Yves Klein Blue's long awaited studio album Ragged & Ecstatic which coincided with a show at the Brisbane Powerhouse, in which BATS were lucky enough to score some sweet press passes (which in hindsight got us absolutely nothing, but hey, it's the thought that counts). The sell out show brought hundreds of fans from the four corners of Brisbane, from The Gap to Kenmore and everywhere in between, to celebrate the album release with supporting sets by Last Dinosaurs and Philadelphia Grand Jury... and of course Yves Klein Blue or as one young man dubbed them "Ives Kelin Blue".

Brisbane “sick as” band, the Last Dinosaurs, got the “paarrtaii started” with a bunch of tunes that the crowd seriously loved. Even though bassist Sam described the set as “shit” - the screams coming from the crowd were sure fire signs that he was dead wrong. Sean, in a “colourful” jacket (nah, I’d steal it from you), with the backup of younger brother, Lachlan (Happy 16th for last month bro), accompanied with Sam on bass and Dan on drums provided a handful of mad beatz that had one young man shouting, “Sean Caskey I love you”. Well Sean Caskey we lovv ya’ll too and your mouth watering blend of music that had us wondering, is Brisbane the new London? The answer is “yeah”. Crowd favourite as always was Honolulu though we were slightly disappointed at the lack of audience participation, it's okay guys, we put our hands up and said, “Hey!”. Special props go out for dedicating a song to the one and only Michael Jackson (R.I.P.), though a slight feeling of disgust on our part at the crowd's lack of knowledge of who “MJ” was, seriously look it up you ignorant grade nines.

Philadelphia Grand Jury followed, giving the crowd some freaking weird stuff, weird, but good. With a really energetic performance full of exciting and strange little pauses and my personal favourite - the little voice over that came on between each song. The live set made them out to have a little more of a punkish sound then their recordings let on and though they were a band I wasn’t really too familiar with before, they were freaking good. They were also an interesting choice for Yves Klein Blue to have as a supporting act. Their sound differed from both Last Dinosaurs and Yves Klein Blue and was a really interesting way to break up the sounds of the evening.

Finally the arena was full, hundreds of teenagers were tapping their feet saying, “I want Yves Klein Blue” or other slight variations of the phrase. The lights dimmed (I daresay because of my slow clap, or so I will tell myself) and Michael Tomlinson, Sean Cook, Charles Sale and Chris Banham came to the stage and in Kelsey’s words - “A Beatle like mania hit and I had to check my phone to make sure it was not the mid 60’s, and rest assured it wasn't."

This was it, they started to play (I’d tell you what song, but I left my notepad somewhere and therefore was unable to write it down) and man, the communal tap of Doc Marten covered toes filled the air and the jumps and screams of heaps of kids (girls) started all around me and as a 5'2 girl, I feared for my life. It was just two short years ago at Pauhas Festival 07 in this very same theatre that YKB played to a crowd that in all seriousness was made up of 15 people - an obvious exaggeration but 70 - 80 doesn't have the same ring (including myself, fellow BAT Kelsey, our good friend Michaella Harrison and a few of the bands personal friends with a couple of people strewn about the floor muttering the phrase, ”oh I quite like them”). Well it’s obvious a whole lot more people quite like them now.

The boys played the songs of their new album as well as a couple of the old favourites. The screams were loudest during Getting Wise, so loud that it came clear to me that my death was inevitable by the crazed crowd, and if not that, then being crushed to death by the pulsating speakers next to me or by the loss of hearing, which would lead to depression and then consequently - suicide. This song was a perfect example of the boys’ stage charisma and the ease in which they perform together. Drummer Banham setting the perfect beat for bassist Cook and guitarist/keyboardist Sale to effortlessly play along, intertwined with the words of Tomlinson who showed his pure genius as a lyricist - seriously if, "when we make love, it's like a great conversation" is true, well then, let's talk.

Soon after Tomlinson jumped into the crowd and left a good dozen teenage girls wet... as he poured the contents of his water bottle over them - though we did have a LOL at the fact that the only person to make a move on Tomlinson’s package was a teenage boy named Hopper.

The album itself is cheeky and innocence, light hearted and deep and incumbencies a number of qualities you’d expect from a bunch of young men barely out of their teens who list their influences as "Porn, Casual Jobs and Wrapping Paper". The album, for what they describe as “the most important thing in our lives up to date”, is in all honesty brilliant and something they should be freaking proud of. Cause seriously, I wish I had come up with it.

photos by Kelsey Heinrichs, Michaella Harrison and Bette Ward

Last Dinosaurs:

Philadelphia Grand Jury:

Yves Klein Blue: