Touring their upcoming new release “The Planet of Straw Men” and taking the nation by storm, Tropical Fuck Storm land in Sydney amidst airport chaos, kind of fitting for the band. The gig has been sold out for ages, with Sydney folk jumping in to be part of the tropical Bowlo storm in a very sought after show. Sharing the stage with them tonight were Sydney local bands Loose Fit and Julia Why?
Local three piece, Julia Why? have been quietly playing up a storm in the local Sydney scene. They took this opportunity to promote an upcoming new single release to add to their mounting collection of recordings already out there. Check it out here.
Opening the night to a slowly filling room, they were able to attract a bit of attention by showing off a set that smacks of something going on; delving straight into their finely tuned fuzzy, garage pop set like a 90’s band meeting a millennial.
With a drum sound like a train ticking along the tracks, plenty of room is given for their cyclic driving bass, jangly guitar and strong vocals that all of a sudden shoot off into six directions, yell in your face with a sonic attack and then bring you back to your comfortable seat. All very deliberate, controlled and quite a bit of fun.
Loose Fit are a Sydney four piece sporting a lineup of drums, bass, guitar, and wait for it……sax. This band are one of the emerging alt wave bands sprouting up around the music scene at the moment with a sound that is certainly avaunt guard, almost 80’s in vintage.
There are lots of effects. The reverb and tremolo in the guitar are matched with a sometimes growling, sometimes ethereal chorus driven bass which certainly drives the quirky stop start songs. The drums are always there, with the high hat ticking along like an obsessed metronome forming the spine of each song that guitar, sax and vocals hang off and are almost used like punctuation marks.
Surprisingly, but not surprisingly, they launched into a cracking version of Hunters and Collectors’ “The Slab” towards the end of the set, with that driving bass style naturally fitting straight into their show. This just set the crowd off, jumping around in front of the stage and invoking what looked like a ritual warm up dance from the backstage area.
See what Loose Fit are all about here.
Tropical Fuck Storm
There was a bit of an initial tease with the band coming on stage early, freaking out the bar staff, and sorting out a quick sound check. The front of the stage immediately became a sardine can, with punters left crammed in front of the stage as the band slunk back off the stage – but no one was going to give up their hard won spot.
The band finally came back on and strapped on, strapped in and the crowd girded themselves for the show.
From the start, the seemingly barely controlled chaos that erupted on stage was like a whirlwind, Gareth Liddaird bouncing, writhing and spitting out vocals with what looked like pent up passion that the front row ended up being covered in.
The chaos continued though the set with Fiona Kitschin snarling away on bass and adding some powerful vocals, generally trying to keep out of Liddiard’s way as he wielded his guitar like a weapon, more than once smashing into the low ceiling above the stage to leave his mark. On the other side of the stage, Erica Dunn was busy switching between keys and noise making machines, to a screaming, sonic guitar, prowling from front to the back of the stage.
A bit of banter and a lone heckle from the crowd had Liddiard moving into pro performer mold, first making a little light hearted banter and then the whole band chipping in with a bit of impromptu serenading to break the set up.
The gig wound up to a crescendo of squealing, screaming effects. Guitars were being chucked about, Gareth rolling around on the stage and punching at effects pedals with his hands. Not to be outdone, drummer Lauren Hammel smashed on behind the drum kit, kicking and crashing, tom drums launching across the stage and finishing up by using her drum machine like a weapon, pounding the stage and just willing it to smash something.
The final stage scene is chaos, harping back to angry punk days where gear lies smashed and scattered all over the stage – but in this case – its organised chaos – nothing is really broken, but the passion and mayhem was real – I think they have just learned to invest in tougher gear.
Check here for the band’s releases, but check out a live show for more of an experience.
Where was that Brown Note? Surely with all those noise machines and smashing drum machines there was a blip, maybe even a blap.