With a membership of nine, Dorsal Fins could barely fit on stage as an entirety. However, the cramping did little to hinder their performance; with the newly formed collective churning out their vibrant brand of indie pop which involved vocals from Ella Thompson (The Bamboos) and Jarrad Brown (Eagle and the Worm). A plethora of (guitar) strings, brass and beats summoned a powering set of delicious hook lines, pulsating rhythms and well-crafted pop tracks adjusted to a truck load of instruments. This particularly rung true during their singles ‘Monday Tuesday’ and ‘Fell’; with Thompson vigorously bouncing about the stage with tambourine often in hand.
Bloods then took the stage, catapulting the audience into a droning wall-of-sound driven by heavy distortion and pronounced surf-punk drum beats. The Sydney three-piece played a set of little variation, with the run-of-the-mill surf tracks fusing into each other as the set went on. However, on top of the sheer amount of noise produced, their pounding surf numbers foreshadowed much of the set which was to follow; paving an apt entrance for the headline band.
Velociraptor are perhaps the only band known to humanity (besides maybe these guys) who can deliver a sound performance with only half of their members present. Having narrowed to seven from around 15, the Brisbane party rock collective divulged an intensity unmatched on the evening from the second they entered the stage.
The drummer for the evening initially walked on solo; taking his place behind the kit and thumping the beat to the opening song ‘In The Springtime’ as the rest of the band emerged. A certain explosiveness immediately swept the room, fueled by a tri-guitar attack, a standing drummer, and the ever-excited charisma of frontman Jeremy Neale – who manuovered guitarless around the front of the stage as he screamed the lines to the garage-drenched surf rock being exuded. Keyboardist Lauren Jenkins rigidly swayed about as she hammered the lines to the band’s earlier material like ‘Hey Suzanne’ and ‘Riot’; encasing a will to please the audience by playing older, more familiar songs.
Now – when a band creates intentionally raw music with lots of guitars, skill lies within delivering the songs in a way that doesn’t overwhelm nor see the various parts mesh together. Luckily, Velociraptor have been around long enough to nail this kind of delivery. Between their intentionally messy, stomping songs of years’ past and their somewhat more refined surf-pop tracks from their newly released album such as ‘Robocop’ and ‘Cool Baby Cool’; the tracks were hard-hitting, noisy, and yet most of all, tight. A party band in the true sense of the phrase, their performance was lively to the point of invigoration – the dance-pit in the front half of the room responding with ample spark.
Although the performance wasn’t exactly diverse, Velociraptor steamrolled through their deep discography of short but sweet garage-surf ditties from start to finish. The crowd shouted along to ‘Ramona’; the final song they played and the lead single from the band’s self-titled album as Neale and co. prepared to call it a night.
And there ended a static performance from one of Australia’s (literally) biggest bands. Despite their shortage of numbers, Velociraptor emitted a well-received, energetic aura that while physically draining, reminded the audience on the evening that at the end of the day some bands are just in it for the fun.