I loved her legs, her smile and everything in between.
It’s an interesting phenomena to see Australian bands uproot and settle in far off lands. By and large the destination seems to be either Berlin or London. This land has a glass ceiling in terms of exposure, success and experience. As far as touring goes, it’s a royal pain in the arse. Imagine lugging your gear over thousands and thousands of kilometres to play only one or two bars to an unappreciative handful of pissposts. Many don’t bother with this and stay within the one city, playing as many gigs as possible to devoted followers. But the wings need to be utilised, don’t they? The great expanse beckons.
Devastations relocated to Germany in 2003. They are clearly one of the most interesting and accomplished Australian bands of the last decade, yet most in their homeland know nothing of them. It’s a curious thing. Once a band leaves these shores it seems they are gradually disregarded, as if music fans and the media don’t quite know what to do with them. I myself fall into this category, having heard of Devastations intermittently over the years, though never pursuing their music. I was delighted to come across this album, to fully absorb Devastations yearning melancholy and deep dark poetry. I’m sure it’s been said before, but I can’t think of a band with a more apt name.
My friend and I concluded our argument, and she left. I looked around the café. There were a few other people in there. One couple, one man reading and a man sitting at the window counter, facing the street. It seemed we hadn’t disturbed them with our arguing, it had been conducted in mostly hushed tones. Hushed and grating tones. I thought I saw the girl behind the counter glance at me and smirk, then go back to cleaning her coffee machine. The things they must see working in a place like this, where so many things end and begin. I paid the girl and walked towards the exit. As I got closer I noticed that the man at the window was drawing in a small black notebook. I slowed my pace and attempted to see what he had been working on. It was a face. A sketch of a face. I peered closer over his shoulder. It was my face. It was quite a good likeness. There was no doubt about it. It was me. A rough profile of me. He must have been drawing it from the reflection in the window, his back had been turned to me for the entire time. I had been admiring his long brown coat, it was like camel fur.
Once outside I walked on without looking back. I didn’t want to see his face. The afternoon was dying and there were few people around. The winter had subdued the city. The people that were around didn’t linger, they moved at a pace to escape the growing darkness. It occurred to me that the man in the café had been drawing me as I had always seen myself. As I saw myself in a mirror. A reflection. Myself in reverse, always.