Newcastle Herald

Dinosaurs seize the day

Author: Anita Beaumont
Date: 31/03/2011
Words: 758
Source: NCH
          Publication: Newcastle Herald
Section: Hunter Live
Page: 35
BRISBANE band The Last Dinosaurs and Sydney's Papa Vs Pretty wrap up their run of double-headlining shows with a gig in Newcastle on Saturday night.

The two bands decided to team up because, although they have different sounds, their music attracts a similar audience.

"They are also of a similar age to us," The Last Dinosaurs frontman Sean Caskey told LIVE.

"They're probably more progressed than us, because they've got an album recorded already, but we thought it'd be a sensible idea to work together.

"Even though we are very different bands, we have a similar sort of audience.

"Most of the time when you go see a band the support sounds sort of the same, but this will be a good mix."

The Last Dinosaurs recently toured Australia with British band Foals, and the experience left a big impression on Caskey and his band mates.

"There's no other band in the world that I'd want to support over Foals," Caskey said.

"It's a life-changing experience, playing with your favourite band . . .. And when you see them live it's a whole different world.

"Their recordings are good, but they are just on the one volume.

"Live, they go loud, then soft, and they're so tight - they're the tightest band I've ever seen and, on top of that, the music is just so expressive.

"It's not often you watch a band and the songs are just amazing and they play amazingly well too.

"I paid a lot of attention to their song structure and why they were structured like that, and I spoke to Yannis [Philippakis, Foals' frontman] about that type of stuff on tour.

"I'm going to try to bring us closer to what they're like as a live band."

The Last Dinosaurs are one of many Brisbane bands emerging on Australian airwaves.

Caskey puts it down to the city's vibrant music scene, although he was disappointed there were now fewer music venues promoting original live music in Brisbane.

"There used to be a really vibrant music scene there, in my opinion," Caskey said.

"When we finished school there was a shitload of guys who were all good friends and who all liked music, so we all started bands.

"That was a time when there were a couple of awesome venues - especially one called the Corner Bar where they ran a club night and it was always packed with people.

"They'd always let new bands play there, which was really fun.

"But that closed down and now there's not many venues left that you can start off at.

"It's so important to have those places when you start out because you've got to find out who you are as a band, and who the other guys are in your band as well.

"The best way to find that out is on stage, especially for a new band.

"To do it in a nice venue with a good vibe is perfect, but it just doesn't really exist any more."

Caskey and drummer Dan Koyama were playing together in another band when they decided to peel off and form The Last Dinosaurs.

Throughout the next year they slowly recruited the rest of the members, including Caskey's guitarist brother Lachlan and bassist Sam Gethin-Jones.

"That has been our line-up for about two years now," Caskey said.

The first song Caskey and Koyama wrote was a song called Hawaii - a tropical surf pop song that set the tone for the band's musical style.

The track most people will recognise is the band's seemingly peaceful, uplifting Honolulu.

"That song is kind of ironic, because everyone views that song as a happy song, but it's supposed to be a sad, melancholic song," Caskey said.

"But with me, whenever I've tried to write something sad it's ended up sounding happy - it has always been the case.

"When I'm in a bad mood, that's when all the best stuff comes."

Caskey explains that when they began writing songs for The Last Dinosaurs, most bands they knew were focused on producing dark, indie, evil-sounding songs.

"Then when we started writing our 'happy' stuff, it seemed like a ridiculous contrast," he said.

The band were hoping to have recorded their debut album in November last year, but a lack of funds pushed the project back to this year.

"And we're still just writing, so hopefully soon after the tour we'll be able to go into a studio and start recording it in Sydney," Caskey said.

The Last Dinosaurs perform with Papa Vs Pretty

at Newcastlea??s CBD Hotel on Saturday night.

Doors open at 7.30pm. Tickets are $12 via or at the door.

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