Aussie pub-band energy with a cult alternative playlist, the Straight-Jacket Tailors cover The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed classics at the Grace Emily. Playing their first Fringe show since 2018, the Straight-Jacket Tailors are Kristoffer Jaw-Moss (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Troy Benson (Drums) Genevieve Brandenburg (Bass Guitar) and Todd Richmond Bennett (Rhythm Guitar).
The crowd consists of the usual Grace Emily suspects along with a number of band members friends and family. Andy Warhol’s screen tests play nonchalantly on the backdrop, adding a nice touch to the aesthetic and mood of the evening, and the smell of incense lingers in the air.
Diving straight into it, the SJTs play a mixture of the Velvet Underground’s and Lou Reed’s classic hits and lesser known numbers. Kristoffer’s vocals are solid the evening through but particularly shine during Vicious and Heroin. Femme Fatale is played, but unfortunately loses a lot of the original songs charm and uniqueness without the female-voice (originally sung by Nico) as a counterpart to male backing vocals.
Foot tapping and head nodding does eventually break into dancing by the end of the show and smiles abound as the audience revels in delight hearing their favourites from the 1960s played anew.
The overall impression of the show is that the Straight-Jacket Tailors aren’t trying to copy or imitate the original acts or even interpret and represent the songs in any new ways. Kristoffer also doesn’t seem to be trying to impersonate or mimic Lou Reed, but can’t help emulating the original songs due to their unique pacing and spoken-word elements. The are playing the songs as themselves and advertised; creating a successful tribute to the one of the most beloved and enduring bands of all time.
By the end of the evening the STJ’s succeeded in attaining the highest honour for performing musicians in Australia. After letting the audience know that Walk on the Wild Side would be their last song of the evening, the audience erupted into the drawling cries of “one more song”. After a little pandering and convincing, the band finally finish strong on Perfect Day – their best cover of the evening.
A tight set well supported by all artists, the Straight Jacket Tailors and friends performed a solid evening of pub-rock, and I’m glad I spent it with them.
To check out the Straight-Jacket Tailors original work, you can view their singles on Bandcamp
By Grace Kungel
Buy Tickets Here. Next playing Saturday 29th of February 2020