I WAS THERE | DICK DIVER @ THE TOTE – 26/12/2015
Dick Diver brings something out in people – they’re undefined in that sense though; full of meaning, place and significance. If their rise to the golden kids of the Australian music scene and the packed Tote rooms they absolutely destroyed with their explosive rock music over Christmas are anything to go by though, it’s that they can’t mean exactly the same thing to everyone. Sure, their songs are cinematic and initially personal in a way that clearly resonates from somewhere deep within the chests of Monfort, McKary, Hughes, and Edwards; however, the drunk punters up front on the 26th at the Tote wailing away “bad things happen accurately” clearly aren’t coming from the same place that Tearing the Posters Down is, but it’s at that meeting in the middle that Dick Diver manage to so gracefully build a bridge.
So yeah, the 24th and the 26th at the Tote, after a year of spending roughly 89 hours burning rubber on 5,806 miles of empty American highway the Divas play a scattershot of tunes from their three albums, even managing to fit in ‘Flying Teatowel Blues’ which Edwards and McKay still tear through mercilessly. They drown out the other instrumentation in a way that made the word “huge” Freudian slip its way from my mouth each time the distortion got kicked on.
You could read a dozen articles on how important Dick Diver are but never understand it the same way as seeing these gigs after a long abstention from the year that was 2015 – even just glancing about the room reveals not just a packed house, but faces like Courtney Barnett, Jen Cloher, and Terrible Truth’s Joe Alexander. Not to get all celebrity gossip rag on them, but it illustrates the sheer beloved standing in which Dick Diver are held in Melbourne; or who knows, maybe it just proves that music is music and people like Barnett aren’t going to let geniuses like these pass through without being there, especially with the low frequency they’ve been on as of late.
Shuffling out to the door after the set, I rubbed shoulders against Al Montfort himself, quickly asking him what plans were for 2016. “Bit of writing here and there, maybe a European tour?” he offered in a tone that suggests that regardless of the inventive song writing the band has become known for, nothing is ever really truly nailed down in the Dick Diver camp. “No worries man, great set, have a good one”, I end our conversation with, stepping out onto the cool air of Wellington Street, “… And Europe’s fucked probably” mulling over in the brain.
By Nicholas Kennedy
Pic by Holly Pereira