LIVE REVIEW: THE SMITH STREET BAND @ THE GOV 20/11/14
- Supports -
The Front Bottoms(USA)
Apologies, I Have None
I didn’t find out local ‘solid rockers’ Grenadiers were opening the night until about an hour beforehand. Unfortunately, I rocked up to the venue just as they finished their set.
Apologies, I Have None were setting up, and the place was easily already at capacity. To my surprise, about 70% of the turnout seemed under 18 (...it was an all ages show though).
The crowd were fully into these guys and I was admiring the drummer’s ability to wear a hoody with the hood up and not pass out of heat exhaustion throughout their whole set. (Shit gets hot up there!)
Beers as usual were definitely not the cheapest, but a wise move by The Gov because the next pub down ain’t exactly that close. I was also happy to see only a small amount of bright phone backlights being held up, as everyone seemed to just be into the bands and there were one or two keen girls up the front who seemed to know every lyric, to every song, from every band.
The Front Bottoms (USA) had an interesting mix with the frontman weilding an acoustic guitar for the whole set. They still sounded pretty rockin‘ due to the bassist’s killer tone, working wonders with the drummer’s floor tom. With the lead guitarist sporting a ‘Dab Religion‘ Tee to my amusement, he was also rocking a cool little custom pedalboard, in which I could talk for days about (guitar gear), but i’m not going to bore you.
I did hear my mate say the singer sounded “a bit like a dyslexic Tom Delonge, but still good if you know what I mean” ...So work that one out as you wish. They played ‘Au Revoir(Adios)‘ towards the end of their set and I think that was my favourite track of theirs.
As they finished, there was a weird atmosphere, the punters in the beer garden all finished their beers and made their way towards the front and I had just realised there was no stage barrier. Much like Frenzal Rhomb at the Gov in 2012, I could see shit about to hit the fan.
Now it was time for The Smith Street Band and they definitely win the award for ‘best intro music’ as they cruised out onto stage to that recognisable ‘X Files’ theme.
They kicked off with "Something I Can Hold In My Hands”. Crowd surfers abundant, I definitely felt sorry for a group of youngsters in front of me, who were getting pummelled by limbs overhead and landing on the foldbacks.
‘Get High, See No One’ and ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’ followed shortly after, and the place was still pumping. It felt like it could all fall apart at any moment though, even the band had to make a comment or two throughout the set asking everyone to look out for each other.
Props to the stage crew of Smith Street though, one on each side of the stage with super quick reactions to when things got a bit too hectic. Whether it was moving the foldbacks back into position countless times, re-connecting mic and guitar leads or doing a spot trouble shoot on the pedal boards, they were always making everything run smooth for the band whilst the venue was chaotic around them.
Definitely a crowd favourite ‘Ducks Fly Together’ was easily the highlight of it all for me, as "Ive got twelve bucks, I’ve got ciggies" was belted out by the entire crowd with passion, as if they could relate.
They finished with a fast-paced encore and one lucky die hard fan had his bobble-beanie worn by Wil Wagner for the last song.
If I were to be critical, I would say that they could have put on much more of a ‘show’ and improved their stage presence, rather than just playing through the songs.
Nonetheless, everyone was digging it, and it’s all part of the experience. I’m sure everyone had battle scars after the show but they are always an awesome reminder of ‘that time you had all that fun at that show’.
Something I Can Hold In My Hands
Sunshine & Technology
Get High, See No One
The Arrogance Of The Drunk Pedestrian
I Cant Feel My Face
When I Was A Boy, I Thought I Was A Fish
I Don't Wanna Die Anymore
Don't Fuck With Our Dreams
Ducks Fly Together
Throw Me In The River
I Love Life
All images via Smith Street's Facebook