The Pie Tin, Newtown & Go/No-Go gig (5th October 2012)

A few of Jono's workmates play in bands and tonight we had the opportunity to check out Dan's band Go/No-Go playing their gig supporting Sons of Lee Marvin from Melbourne and Handsome Young Strangers at The Lansdowne in Chippendale. I've not heard of Go/No-Go myself but Jono tells me they are an indie-electronic band - not the usual genre I would listen to but I'm always open to new types of music (obviously, since I have been to all sorts of music events in Sydney regardless whether they were my cup of tea or not and still enjoyed them) and even more so to support Dan who plays the guitar in the band.

The gig wasn't till 8ish so Jono and I headed into Newtown around 6pm to The Pie Tin for dinner. This was the first time we've dined in and for a Friday evening, the place wasn't too packed. There was something I like about the diner - it had a nice chilled-out vibe and reminded me of the cafes back in Wellington. Unpretentious yet serves excellent food. We found ourselves a table for two by the window - the diner offers no table service so Jono went to order the food while I stacked claim on our table. More and more people started coming in, some buying pies to go and others filling up the rest of the seats available. This time, I went for the BBQ beef & peppercorn sauce pie with a side of kumera chips while Jono had the Mex chicken with sour cream & kidney beans pie with 2 salads (a leaf salad and coleslaw). Cost us $38 including a beer each. Jono came back to the table with a number for our order  - it was actually an old pie tin with a number written on it hehe ;)

I went to collect our food when our number was called. The pies with the sides were served onto small flat plates (same material to the pie tin) leaving little space for me to hold the plates - I had to be careful not to accidentally drop our dinner as I walked from the counter back to our table. At The Pie Tin, customers are encouraged to enjoy their pies with their hands - the nearest thing to a knife and fork you will get is a spork (spoon + fork merged into one). Be prepared to be messy, I'll say! I made quite a mess eating with hands and spork, bits of salad strewn onto the table and hot gravy from my pie oozing onto my fingers with each bite. Hmm, my BBQ beef & peppercorn sauce pie was delicious :) I reckon it was better and tastier than the Slow roasted shredded pork with apple & BBQ sauce pie I had previously. Had a bite of Jono's Mex chicken with sour cream & kidney beans pie - was nice but I guessed since we had Mexican for dinner last night, I didn't really like it as much.

"Let's get a dessert pie," suggested Jono. Really?? I was feeling rather full but gave in to temptation and shared a Brown butter pecan pie with a single scoop of vanilla ice cream with Jono (cost $8.50) - there was no way would I be able to finish the dessert pie on my own. The pie was good though I much preferred their Sour cherry pie. 

At The Pie Tin for dinner

BBQ beef & green peppercorn sauce pie with kumera chips

Mex chicken with sour cream & kidney beans pie
with leaf salad and coleslaw

Brown butter pecan pie with vanilla ice cream ($8.50)

The Pie Tin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Urgh, now I'm totally stuffed! We decided to walk to The Lansdowne instead of taking the bus (to help with digestion) and arrived around 8pm. The Lansdowne is an old pub that has live bands playing almost every night of the week - popular with students who live near the university, its $10 meals and happy hour deals also makes it one of the more frequented pubs in the area. We went to say hi to Dan who was in the middle of setting up his equipment on stage. "I think I've had too much caffeine today," said Dan excitedly. Well, he was a lot more enthusiastic than usual and seemed really pumped and restless. Not sure if that was a good thing but I bet Dan knows what he was doing - after all, he has been in the music business for quite some time now.

We caught up with Amanda and Matt who were dining upstairs and together found ourselves front row seats at a table near the stage where we chatted over drinks. Two other Googlers came to join our table and like us (me and Jono) have never seen the band play live before. The gig didn't start till 9pm - we sat through 15 minutes of agonising sound check and still the sound engineer didn't get the balance right when the band started playing. For a small venue like The Lansdowne, there was no need to set the volume so loud and we could hardly hear Dan's guitar :/

As mentioned earlier, Go/No-Go is an indie-electronic/new wave band and is made up of 4 members: Steve Claxton (Vocals, Guitar, Keys), Daniel Arena (Guitar, Keys), Tarek Darwish (Bass) and Steve Allison (Drums). Most of the numbers were fast with one or two slow hits - the songs makes you want to get up on your feet to dance and I reckon the gig would have been awesome if held in stand up venues such as the Hi-Fi with the crowd jumping up and down to the tunes. Instead, I found myself bobbing my head to the tunes while seated on a bar stool which I felt didn't do the songs much justice, and analysing the body language of the band members - the bass player had a fixed emotion of disinterest as if just going through the motions while the others not portraying much emotion as all; the lead vocalist Steve was the only one who really displayed energy and enthusiasm on stage. Looking around, the band seemed to have a small following as well, mostly aged late 20s and above. As the gig continued, several guys in the crowd decided to hit the dance floor to show off their drunken dance skills (think chicken dance and cheesy moves) - hilarious!

The band played non-stop for the 30-minute set - wish we had more! Really enjoyed the gig though the sound could have been better. Will have to check out their album on iTunes when we get home... 

Go/No-Go gig at The Lansdowne

Amanda and Matt left after the band finished while Jono and I stuck around for a bit to check out the next band Handsome Young Strangers that kicked off at 10pm. I'm not sure what to make of the band - most of the band members weren't young (nor particularly handsome) but a bunch of beer-gutted older men mixed with a few younger chaps. The music they played was a combination of country/folk and blues rock (they used instruments including the mandolin, harmonica and lagerphone), the type of music which makes me think of men having several pints and doing a jolly (and drunkenly) sing-along with the band in an Irish pub. The lead vocalist in the band was wearing flip-flops! The sound engineer totally sucked - he did a crap job for the previous band but now we couldn't even hear the vocals sung by Handsome Young Strangers because everything else was set too loud. Sheesh! Jono and I left after the second song and caught the bus home.

The members of Handsome Young Strangers filling up the stage


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