Reviewed on Thursday June 19 (photo by Ashley Mar)

Fresh out of Wollongong and barely out of high school, Hockey Dad are gaining significant traction less than a year into their lifespan. This continued here, as they previewed tracks from their forthcoming debut EP, Dreamin’. Highlights included the irrepressible single ‘I Need A Woman’ and the boppy ‘Beach House’, the latter of which may well be an illegitimate lovechild of Wavves’ Nathan Williams and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig. As the latest discovery from the so-called ‘leisure coast’, don’t be surprised if you start seeing a lot more of Hockey Dad in 2014.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that their State of Origin side was defeated (as pointed out repeatedly by Hockey Dad), Queensland’s Major Leagues were down a player of their own – vocalist/guitarist Anna Davidson, who was too sick to perform. Thankfully, the band wasn’t prepared to throw in the towel just yet – the remaining members continued on for the show as a trio, and it managed to work. Although their set was relatively short given their personnel restraints, they still made their time onstage count, rolling through some brand new tracks and some established favourites. Bonus points go to bassist Vlada Edirippulige, who not only provided some of the funniest banter of the night but absolutely nailed the lead vocals on a cover of All Saints’ ‘Pure Shores’. Major Leagues may have been a three-legged dog tonight, but even three-legged dogs are still fun to play with.

Bloods were in high spirits by the time they made their way to the stage – and why not? Their debut album is officially in the can, they’re on tour with a delightful band and they managed to assemble an enthusiastic crowd in Newtown on the same night the biggest band in the world happened to be playing down the road. It was hard to keep the smiles away throughout the set as Bloods ripped through it in rapid-fire succession, from tried-and-tested singles ‘Into My Arms’ and ‘Goodnight’ to some album cuts fresh from the oven. Regardless of where the band took us, it kept things loud, jaunty and rowdily fun. Not to be outdone in the covers department, Bloods finished things up with a trashy run-through of The Romantics’ ‘What I Like About You’. Really, what’s not to like about that?

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