The night started off with Brisbane band, The Jensens. Honing a brit-rock sound, the boys played a couple of indie-rock jams that were clean and tight sounding. A slight tropical influence was also detectible, peaking it’s way through the set every now and then, and their harmonising skills were on point.
The one thing that let these guys down though, even though it was a great song, was that there was a guitar riff that sounded identical to Arctic Monkey’s ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ – making it super clear where their influences came from – which isn’t always a bad thing, but it took some of the sheen off their originality. Either way, though, the crowd were massive fans of these guys, their twangy guitars and shoulder-bopping-goodness to which kept everyone on their feet for the entirety of their set.
Next up were Sydney’s Palms. They greeted us with a cheery “G’day Melbourne, you beautiful bastards!”, and they were on their way. ‘Summer Is Done With Us’ was the highlight of their set, but the massive amounts of feedback were distracting – although it was sparse throughout, when it came, it was in massive chunks. Their sound also clashed a bit against the previous band – Palms are quite a bit more punk-rock and heavier than The Jensens – so much so that lead singer Al Grigg began to loose his voice halfway through their set.
After a neat little plug for Gold 104 and highlighting that half of their band have ginger hair, they played a couple more tunes and then finished up on ‘Bad Apple’. Both The Jensens and Palms finished their sets 10 minutes early, so there was quite a bit of waiting around in-between bands – which the sound technician decided to fill with Cold Chisel’s ‘Cheap Wine’, multiple times.
The crowd seemed to get tired of Cold Chisel very quickly though, and started screaming for Last Dinosaurs a bit prematurely – and thankfully after not too long, the curtains opened and…empty stage. It was a bit confusing, but the band soon ran on, starting off with ‘Take Your Time’. The guitars and synths sounded fantastic, and everyone was singing along from the get-go.
‘Evie’ came next, and it became clear very quickly that there was something wrong with lead singer Sean Caskey’s voice – which he later explained was a result of a blocked nose, asking for nasal spray (at which point bassist Michael Sloane made a large point of making sure that everyone knew he meant nasal spray, not cocaine).
A few songs later, and we arrived at ‘Karma’ and technical difficulties. But, thankfully, they didn’t last too long and ‘Honolulu’ was an absolute hit – as was their modified version of ‘Wurl’ which came later – to which they added a cover of Cher’s ‘Believe’ – the result being both a hilarious surprise and amazing as a whole. That wasn’t the last of the covers for the night, though.
“Now it’s disco time”, announced Caskey, and ‘Apollo’ came next, followed by a cheeky mash-up-cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘All Night’ and Jamiroquai’s ‘You Give Me Something’ – again, fantastic. They turned up the synths and really made it a party atmosphere at this point, gearing us all up for ‘Andy’ (during which Caskey stage dived, nearly breaking his guitar), ‘Always’, ‘Zoom’ and finished up on ‘I Can’t Help You’ – but not before one last stage dive.