A long time ago my brother suggested to me checking out a band called Against Me!. The band he was in, Never In Doubt, was a supporting act for them in 2004 in Canberra, at the now defunct Green Room. Last night, at The Basement, they were back. This time though, with a frontwoman and a lot of new material. As a bit of an experiment I intentionally avoided listening to their latest albums just to see what a decade worth of development had led to. They’re really quite good. Because of my decision I didn’t know any of the songs (except when they broke into Don’t Lose Touch from Searching for a Former Clarity, which was awesome) but you could easily tell when they’d started to play a hit. To a crowd of around 200, they played until they were tired and came back on for a decent length encore. Their sound today is consistent with where they’ve come from. Punk is fun and they’ve stuck to the roots.

The Basement has come a long way. Ownership has changed and someone has put a significant amount of effort into the place. It now feels like a proper alt/rock venue. And, for some reason, bands like Against Me! Will play there on a winter Wednesday night to dedicated fans and to people who didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. If they come back (and why wouldn’t they?) go and see Against Me! A it was a classic Canberra night.