La Bastard embrace shambolic live shows

LA BASTARD

with The Nice Folk and Six Shooter

Friday

Barcode, Wollongong

Tickets: $7 at the door

Shambolic is the word that best describes a live show from Melbourne band La Bastard.

The rockabilly and '60s inspired group aren't afraid to get down into the crowd and get the audience revved up, whether it be finding someone in the crowd to dance with or staging an impromptu pillow fight with the chair cushions scattered around a venue.

"We jump on tables and chairs and dance. In the Melbourne music scene, everyone is really arm-folded, standing around watching, not really being involved, so with this band we make a point of being really interactive with the audience," singer Anna Lienhop says.

"I'll jump in the crowd and dance with the people; the only one who doesn't get off the stage is Julia [the drummer], because she physically can't."

No matter the size of the crowd, La Bastard are always eager to make their live shows extra entertaining - their guitarist once crowd-surfed in an audience of only six people.

"They were just moving from one side to another, it was great," Lienhop says.

But she points out some people can become a little uncomfortable when faced with having to join in the crazy antics.

"Generally it's pretty well received, I don't think we've ever had really, really bad shows, but we've had some tough crowds. When you get in people's personal space, you break up that invisible wall between the stage and the audience where they think they can get away with being a passive element to the show, when it's really not the case, but once you break through that it's generally pretty good."

La Bastard celebrated their second anniversary as a group last weekend and are marking their achievement with the launch of their sophomore album, Tales from the Beyond.

They had much more time to plan this album than their first, which happened by accident while they were meant to be recording some demos.

"Last time we just went into a studio to record a demo, but the songs came out so well we decided to skip the middle step and release an album straight off the bat," Lienhop says.

The topics covered on this record are a little more varied than those on their first. While she and guitarist Ben Murphy co-write much of the material, more of her songs appeared on the first album while more of Murphy's are featured on this one.

Performing the songs she hasn't authored can sometimes be a challenge for Lienhop.

"I suppose it's like actors - I don't know how they do it really but I'm assuming you really need to find a part of you that identifies with that role, so when it comes to singing and performing you really need to have empathy with the song and what's going on, so if I'm not feeling it I'm not going to be performing it as convincingly as I should," she says.

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