far better than daytime tv!
Dear Seattle w/ Towns & Heaps Good Friends @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney NSW Australia 18/05/2019 written by Brendan Lewis.
I’ve been to many good ol’ pub rock gigs in my day at my ripe old age of twenty-five, and one thing is always consistant….. beer, lots of beer…. Plus you-know, music that is generally far better than sitting at home watching daytime TV, or going for a lazy stroll through the meadows of the internet and maybe, just maybe, you might even find the love of your life or your new best mate amidst the drunken haze of good vibes if you only give it a try. Okay, perhaps ‘love’ isn’t the four letter ‘L’ word likely to be found in the person who takes your fancy at a pub gig, but still, you never know, but what I do know for sure, is this room here tonight is packed with 500-odd fans filled with beer and good-vibes geared and ready for Sydney rockers Dear Seattle to take the helm and steer this rowdy ship to glory.
So hold on tight, and don’t let go, for I have a feeling this will be a bumpy ride!
Part one; Towns
Normally when I’m at a pub gig like this costing the modest ticket price of two or three drinks, my expectations of the first of two support acts (likely starting out locals) isn’t grand. Of course I’m always keen to discover new talent and give my support, but you can imagine my astonishment when Towns step onto the stage and absolutely own it like veteran pro’s!
I’m finding myself squinting around the stage trying to see more than the two obvious band members, (guitarist and drummer) for the source of the other sounds. Incredibly, however, the versatile multi-layered anthemic rock vibes are produced merely by clever use of effect pedals and attention-drawing skill in both original tracks and an ace of a TV theme-song mash-up in a fresh rock flavour.
If this surprising whopper of a sound for only two lads isn’t enough to stun me, the two members heighten the energy with their rather amusing and entertaining banter between themselves and the still growing audience who too, seem to be loving every second.
Definitely didn’t see that coming! (blind pun intended)
Part two; Heaps Good Friends
Yet again, I find myself squinting around the stage, this time, however, for a different reason. I’m trying to determine if this bubbly, playful pop/rock feminine voice singing is indeed a female, as when this trio stepped out onto the stage, two rather typical Aussie sounding blokes dished out some ice-breaking banter, and usually in a three-person band, the presumption of the two members talking are the two front ones right? I’m quite certain this feel-good bouncy voice from the literally bouncy and jumpy vocalist with a harmonious effect additive to it, bouncing on a nice blend of 80’s-style disco and modern pub-rock with subtle backing track sounds, is indeed female, but as the set progresses, still only bloke banter?..... This is where being blind can be a real mind-f*** at times!
Finally, my question is answered as the female vocalist speaks to the audience near the end of the set.
As energising and uplifting as Heaps Good Friends’ show has been, I personally think they fell just shy of the energy mark Towns left, and I get the feeling the rest of the crowd agree. But enjoyable and funky none the less!
Part Three; Dear Seattle
This being the first of two Sydney shows and having sold out, it’s no surprise the little space around me quickly diminishes when Dear Seattle start their set. In exact reflection of the record, the opening song is ‘When I’m Gone’, of course, the opening song off their touring album… what a shocker, I know! Thanks to the precision of this song in a live format and the sound mixer doing it justice as they did for the two supporting bands (quite superbly I must say), this song is really hitting the mark judging by the chorus of sing-alongs from the audience.
When the third song rolls around ‘Daytime TV’ with its pub-yell addictive vocal hook, the musical energy is at a red hot, and so’s the crowds energy. I don’t know if it’s the fact that lead singer Brae is prompting the crowd to sing as loud as they can for the vocal hook, holding the mic out to us or the copious amounts of grog being served or simply just the crowds adoring love for the band, but the little stage playing host to the band merely the size of a large lounge-room, is invaded with crowd surfers thanks to the absence of a barrier and security. I guess it’s a good thing the band aren’t going crazy themselves, or the intrusion of crowd surfers on the stage would definitely cause an issue, well, for the band I mean, it’s already causing an issue for us here at the front. For you see, crowd surfers and hundreds of people ramming you forward full throttle at a show with a front barrier that’s one thing, at least there’s something to hold on to, where crowd surfers are dismissed to the side of the photographers pitt when they emerge. But tonight, having crowd surfers not only land on top of you from behind, but then jump back in the crowd right in front of you nearly taking your head with them plus being bent over the stage by 500 or so strangers and fighting to stay standing and upright at that, may sound delightful to some, is not something I had intended for the evening.
Congratulations Dear Seattle, you’ve brewed a crowd that’ve made me hot-tail it out of the crowd to watch the rest of the show from off to the side for the first time at this venue.
Never mind, the music is what matters most, and well, as far as a pub-rock gig/music goes, it’s an absolute cracker! All the songs performed tonight are simply ace, if you like the music on the album and you like a good ol’ pub gig (forget the whole slaughterous crowd part) it’s a bloody-beauty!