I heard about the RTR “Burn the Airwaves” benefit gig a couple of weeks ago and I was looking forward to it, mainly because my favourite local band The Critics were playing. The Hydey is an odd venue and extremely unique in it’s atmosphere, and tonight was no exception. All the advertising etc promised “two stages of terror”, which really means bands playing at both ends of the bar (since there aren’t actually any stages)…what used to be called “widescreen”, anyway…
I walked in and These Streets, Our Verona were playing in the back where the pool tables were. It’s hard to describe the atmosphere, but it was pretty dark except for a few red lams around the place, so there was a very “underground” feel. Everyone was standing very close to the band, which I guess is something that sets The Hydey apart from over venues. Because I’d seen these guys support A Change of Face before I always think they are cut from the same mould, which isn’t such a bad thing.
Having bands play one after the other meant a mad rush from the pool room to the band area at the bar. I made my way to the front to see Two for Flinching, who I really enjoyed. Think of a ska punk band with some Jamaican-type reggae sounds thrown in. I guess they reminded me of the long-since-forgotten band Lowdown with that “feisty chick lead singer” attitude. I’ll be looking out to see them play again, as I will be for The Jacknives. We’re talking two different bands with two different female vocalists, but both with equally great effect.
The next band I didn’t catch the name of (was it Miles Away?) but they certainly stirred up the crowd the most. We were all standing shoulder-to-shoulder then everyone started a mosh pit and there was crowd surfing too (!!). It didn’t all detract from the music, which was loud and fast and angry, much like the punters running into each other. The rest of us not expecting this all had to take a couple of quick steps back.
As the evening moved on, so came bands I had come to see. I was quite surprised to see Screwtop Detonators take the small pool table area slot. I didn’t really like them the last (and only other) time I’ve seen them, but I really enjoyed their set, it was catchy and rockin’ and the band played to the crowd that was inches away from them so well. Another real surprise to the evening.
Of course, I’d come to see The Critics and I wasn’t disappointed. I haven’t seen them as much as I’d like, because they’ve often supported bigger bands I’m not willing to pay to see, but tonight was really as set for the fans. It was a set that not only showcased the best of the “old” stuff from the band, but they also showed us they have some new material up their sleeves too.
The set was as follows:
Selective Speaking, Take Back What’s Ours, Pull Ya Head In, Fear Invested, Scratching my head, The Sound, Obsolete, Patent Pending, Bound. Intro, No Answers, Hard Pressed.
Not only was this gig a “back to roots” type gig, but the new songs showed promise for bigger and better things in the future. The crowd certainly enjoyed the set, and many of the punter were singing along! It was enjoyed so much so that an encore was cheered on and the boys did a “Sunnyboys” cover. It was a great finish to a great set to a great gig. It really showed (to me) that punk rock is very strong in Perth. I just wish my hearing wasn’t so shot in the morning!!