It’s Friday the 22nd of January and we’re sat at a table of a friends' backyard devising a plan: A plan to catch our favourite bands in 3 separate shows across the city. Wishing we had time-traveling capabilities, our seven-piece convoy is torn between the unmissable lineup of shows: Horror My Friend’s album launch at Clarity Records, Australian legends Luca Brasi and Endless Heights with friends Brawlers at Rocket Bar or US hardcore kings Turnstile at Enigma Bar. Armed with a 6-pack of Coopers Pale Ale and sheer determination, we set forth.
Stop #1: Horror My Friend’s Album Launch @ Clarity Records
In the tiny store that is Clarity Records, sweat-dripping bodies gathered like hungry drunks in a yiros shop, to treat their ears to Horror My Friend’s latest album Stay In, Do Nothing.
At 8 o’clock on the dot, the signature HMF guitar fuzz filled the room, echoing against walls as the band opened with the catchy riff from first track Death Hill. Those who didn't make it in time assembled on the street, peering through windows in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the boys in action. The match-made-in-heaven three piece work perfectly together, with the pop melodic voice of Josh Battersby that seamlessly blends with the gravelly screams of Tom Gordon and the always on-point and hard-hitting drumming of Sam Kolesnik. Previewing the album in full, the boys shared the load with Josh singing the first half of the set. The intimate setting left barely any room to move, yet shoulders and heads bopped to previously released and much loved singles Stay In and Mazes. Bestie and other front-man Tom Gordon sang the last half of the set, including well-received and soon-to-be crowd favourites Same Minds and PB Remains. If you missed out, don't stress - the band is headlining a end-of-tour show at Jive April 1st.
Stop #2: Brawlers & Endless Heights @ Rocket Bar
After a small trek from one side of Adelaide to the other, we reached stop numero two: Rocket Bar. Disappointed to have missed locals Raccoon City Police Department, we arrived just as English band Brawlers kicked off their second-ever Australian set. Sporting a 'Don't Mess With Yorkshire' shirt, frontman Harry Johns warmed the crowd with crisp vocals and alcohol bribery. Claiming that our excessive alcoholics and spew-filled basins made Rocket Bar their favourite venue in Australia (though, they've only been in the country for two days), they smashed tracks I am a Worthless Piece of Shit, Two Minutes and Drunk & Dial.
Starting with Teach You How To Leave, Sydney lads Endless Heights were up next and immediately drew a swarming crowd who were mesmerised by their emotion-driven and melodic sound. Fans massed for old favourites Honest Life, Valhalla and The New Bloom. Packing powerful and flawless vocals, Joel Martorana is hypnotising to watch with energetic stage presence and endless interaction with the audience. With each release, Endless Heights are proving to be stronger and more musically diverse, earning them coveted touring positions and an inevitable long and successful future in the Australian music scene.
A text message notifys, "Turnstile in 10 minutes" and with heavy hearts, we leave Rocket Bar missing Luca Brasi.
Stop #3: Turnstile @ Enigma Bar
Attached with heaped black tape, a hand-made banner with the words 'Nonstop Feeling' hung across the Enigma stage. Like the previous packed gigs of the night, the almost-capacity bar overflowed, but this time with eager hardcore kids for Turnstile. Drop was first, and the opening line sent the crowd into controlled chaos as limbs flew while heads dodged punching fists and spin-kicking legs. Make no mistake, these actions weren't a result of built-up anger or egotistic violence. Punters dropped to the floor like bugs to a mosquito zapper, but everyone ensured their fallen stranger-turned-friend was okay and ready to get back in on the action. Following with Keep It Moving, the crowd literally kept it moving during its instrumental intro which saw people jumping from the stage and against one another. The show continued seamlessly featuring hard-hitting infectious tracks from Nonstop Feeling including Fazed Out and Bad Wave. Leading the crowd like a conductor, the band broke into Gravity which saw the entire bar dancing and shouting lyrics, "Right now, break me out, show me how to feel". Closing with Canned Heat, and finishing a show that was undoubtedly one of the best hardcore sets Adelaide has seen in recent years, Turnstile won over everyones hearts and we begged and sobbed over a denied encore.
So, there you have it folks - when theres a will, theres a way. What do you do when 3 of your favourite bands book shows on the same night? You run.