Reviewed on Saturday November 23

There is something deeply mischievous and potent about local four-piece The Snowdroppers. They command your attention with a unique, raw energy onstage. Frontman Johnny Wishbone oozes don’t-give-a-fuck charm as he croons about booze, broads and broken dreams. These delinquents are aptly named after two types of early 20th century vagrants – cocaine junkies, and thieves with a fetish for nicking lingerie from neighbours’ clothes lines.

Depraved namesakes or not, The Snowdroppers are a slick rat pack touting a titillating hybrid of blues, rock and knee-slapping country. They weave guitars, bass, drums, harmonica and the banjo together with swagger. Dressed for seemingly serious business in their button-up shirts, vests, braces and polished black shoes, you would think they were auditioning for the next series of Mad Men – until Wishbone unleashes a mouthful of Australian pub vernacular punctuated with swearing, shouting and vulgar humour. On this night, he strutted, thrust and flaunted his way across the stage with unadulterated moxie. His band dripped in sweaty old school vamp.

Devoted Screaming Jets fans stacked themselves ear to ear inside the Metro to greet the formidable Aussie rockers with a thundering roar of allegiance. Each member of the band wore a smile of pride as they took the stage, and singer Dave Gleeson repeatedly expressed thanks and his great pleasure at “being up here again and doing what we love.” They played all the favourites, and the highlights ‘Better’ and ‘Helping Hand’ were sung passionately and word-for-word by the crowd.

I was third from the front, almost swallowed up by the towering tattooed cavemen and a sandwich of furiously wiggling dancers on either side of me. Everyone seemed lost in the Jets’ hypnotic presence. Gleeson gave a powerhouse performance with his booming vocals, corkscrew curls and intense facials, and he showcased his trademark contentious discourse throughout the set. World affairs, celebrities and politics were slammed. There was a whole song dedicated to Clive Palmer being “a fat fuck”.

While Gleeson did his thing, the almighty Mickl ‘The Slayer’ Sayers thrashed out on drums with mastery and brawn. Guitarists Scott Kingman and Jimi Hocking skilfully jammed alongside Paul Woseen on bass, who wailed with incredible suave and dexterity. They are true Aussie rock’n’rollers dripping in passion for their craft. Shows like this are a testimony to why The Screaming Jets are best consumed in the flesh.


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