Reviewed onWednesday January 4
A quick survey at the Enmore Theatre suggested there were far more Aussie natives in attendance than for Jamie T’s Metro show two years ago, presumably thanks to solid radio rotation for his latest LP Trick. And it seems that his tales from ‘Tescoland’ – old and new – translate surprisingly well for suburban Sydney kids. A confident, snarling performance gripped the young crowd in beer-flinging, rowdy rapture.
Similarly strong triple j support for Hockey Dad’s debut album Boronia ensured a sizeable audience for the Windang duo. If a little derivative, their brand of surf grunge and tales of pursuing chicks and bromance struck a jangly, buoyant chord with most of the teens and young-20-somethings in singlets and snapbacks.
The punk revival cues were strong in Jamie T’s set from the start; ska classic ‘Wooly Bully’ and the bassline to ‘Guns Of Brixton’ by his beloved Clash provided the walk-on soundtrack. The backdrop of Trick’s album art was lit in the colours of the Spanish flag for ‘Operation’, bringing to mind ‘Spanish Bombs’. Yet if the influence of The Clash songwriter Mick Jones is writ large throughout Jamie Treays’ catalogue, live he brings the spirit of more recent kin The Libertines and Alex Turner.
There’s a dark side to some of the new songs, not least ‘Dragon Bones’. “Rolling the dice two and a three / There ain’t nothing left if you’re leaving me … 50,000 feet up in the clouds / If I had a gun I’d blow my brains out,” sung over synth bongos, comes off like a disturbing but jaunty Madchester-era tune. ‘Sheila’ makes clear that this has long been Treays’ formula: “When I fall, no one catch me / Alone lonely, I’ll overdose slowly / Get scared, I’ll scream and shout / But you know it won’t matter / She’ll be passing out”. The audience – most of which was still dancing to The Wiggles when this song first hit a decade ago – sang (shouted) along with every word.
Sometimes, Treays only needed to play the first chord of a song – such as ‘Salvador’ – for the audience to go bananas. When he was allowed to get as far as the choruses of ‘Sticks ‘N’ Stones’ and ‘Zombie’, pogoing almost descended into rioting. Anthemic songs, fervent crowd, brilliant gig.