Reviewed on Saturday July 19 (photo by Ashley Mar)
In a haze of washed-out guitar and stomping rhythms, Perth visitors Gunns took full advantage of their time onstage with tracks that were amazingly able to remain firmly grounded while still having a psychedelic edge that could well have tipped over at any given second. This could have had a lot to do with the fact they skewed the regular indie rock set-up by adding in a member on acoustic guitar, foot percussion, keyboards and harmonies. Yes, the quietly unassuming Michael Jelinek is easily the band’s secret weapon, assisting in lifting the songs from goodness to greatness. All pun intended, Gunns killed.
As easily the loudest band of the night, a daunting task lay ahead for Adelaide’s Bad//Dreems. Their sneering, unpretentious take on post-punk could have easily been a bit too noisy for the triple j demographic that had congregated, but with each song, the audience grew more and more receptive, dancing and bouncing away to the band’s brisk, high-octane tracks. Bad//Dreems are quickly making good on their threat to be one of the best bands in the country. Perhaps venues such as these await under their own name? Don’t be surprised.
There’s nothing like a homecoming party, and after time away working on their hotly anticipated debut album, The Preatures were back in town, performing to their biggest crowd to date. Frontwoman Isabella Manfredi oozed confidence and energy as she led her bandmates through brand new cuts and older favourites. Her eyes lit up when she heard the crowd singing ‘Better Than It Ever Could Be’ back to her, while vocalist/guitarist Gideon Bensen couldn’t even move his lips near the microphone without getting Beatlemania shrieks sent his way.
With a dedication to Doc Neeson, the band kicked into a barnstorming ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?’ Everyone overage screamed the traditional “No way, get fucked, fuck off!” backing vocals, while everyone underage was busy texting their parents to find out what a Doc Neeson is. Manfredi then asked the crowd if they were “ready for some bad dancing”, before posing the question that changed the game for them in 2013: ‘Is This How You Feel?’ Finally, the band struck up one last time for a run-through of ‘Take A Card’. Much like the aforementioned track, things are better than they ever could be for The Preatures right now. Once that debut drops? Game over.