Where are the Way Hip Antelopes?

Okay, so, I went to university in Canberra, right? (Canberra is Australia’s capital city, if you’re not familiar with our sociopolitical and geographic minutiae). Canberra’s an interesting place. When I lived there, it was all about the Three P’s: Porn, Pot & Pyrotechnics. The industrial suburb of Fyshwick was a porn mecca, marijuana was decriminalised and you could buy fireworks from stalls at Belconnon Mall. Come to think of it, I don’t think I partook in any of those things cos I was too busy studying, Your Honour.

Anyway, one of the best things about Canberra (apart from all-day breakfast at Cafe Essen, the coffee at Tosolini’s…), was the band The Way Hip Antelopes. I have their 1998 CD Everlasting Why, (which I coyly bought from one of their vocalists, Kate, who worked at a CD store near uni – It was one of those ‘Oh, you’re the girl from the CD, and you’re working at the store I’m buying it from… this is a little uncomfortable’ things) but I don’t know if they ever expanded beyond the local scene, which is a huge shame because I think they were really ahead of their time, and hell, if the Byron Bay Bluesfest crowd got a hold of them now, they’d be playing all over the place.

Their sound was a mix of middle-eastern melodies, lush acoustic guitar arrangements, folkish leanings, complex-but-grooving drums (Ben, the drummer – I used to get in his ear when he worked at the same CD store as Kate), in-the-pocket basslines courtesy of Loki (who served me many an ale at the Phoenix, if I recall correctly), soaring, sometimes-jazz-tinged male lead vocals and ethereal, atmospheric female harmony vocals (the latter of which are sadly missing from the only video I could dig up, a from a 2004 reunion show at The Phoenix). Man, when they were on they were fucking on, and there was nothing greater than seeing them at a venue like the Gypsy Bar. Nothing! (Man, the Gypsy Bar was awesome. Were you there? Then you get it, right? If you weren’t, dude, you missed something).

So where are you, Way Hip Antelopes? Are you all still around? Do you Google yourself every now and then to see who remembers? Cos I remember, and I friggin’ miss you guys.