The Stems – Marrickville Bowlo

Tonight’s show at the Bowlo sees the seemingly unlikely pairing of long time Sydney hard rock outfit the New Christs and the jangly 60’s garagepop sounds of The Stems. There was a packed vintage crowd tonight, taking advantage of this double header.

The New Christs

An early start for the New Christs tonight to cram as many songs as possible in the support set, taking some of the more seasoned music goers by surprise, still waiting in the unusually long queue to get into the venue as the band kicked off.

There was no disappointment for the wait though, it was a cracking set by the New Christs tonight. The whole band was completely on song and belted out tune after earth shatteringly loud tune.

newchrists2The band, lead by Rob Younger, has been constantly writing new music since their inception in the 80’s; with the hard rock edge delivery of the music changing over the years with the influence of the many changes in lineup. This version certainly took the all those changes in their stride.

The set took in the old, the middling and the newer tracks all performed with a clinical precision that may have been lacking in previous shows.

The Stems

From the ring of the very first chord you could sense that there was a harder edge to the Stems from the jangly 80’s version. This was definitely a guitar band with their own sound and groove.

Maybe it was the lack of that 60’s keyboard sound, or maybe it was Davey Lane now on guitar duties with his custom vintage “Daveybacker” guitar belting through his cranked Vox amp, channelling Pete Townsend windmilling arms, jumps and sartorial splendour.

Maybe it was just that they were all match fit for their upcoming European tour, but there was certainly a little extra edge to each song.


Whatever it was, the audience lapped it up, packing the front of the stage with lots of sweaty bouncing and whirling bodies.

The set was peppered with tunes across all their albums and singles, they even threw in a version of the Easybeats “Sorry” to round out the night in one of their two encores. All perfectly delivered, no nonsense, just pumping out great tune after tune; making for lots of happy punters spewing out into the Marrickville streets at the end of the show.

What about that Brown Note…..even with that harder edge, control was maintained.




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