Updated: Jan 4
The Princess Theatre has beheld many dramas, but none more breath-taking than the tale of Beddy Rays on the 2nd of September. It's got everything you want: ragtag under dogs overcoming all odds with axe murder and a metric dick tonne of audience interaction.
The first act saw Bakers Eddy walk the boards. They go in for an ultimate bop and then get rowdy, always prepared with a packed lunch from mum with stage moves and Fallout Boy crowd-work shooting out of the chocolate milk. You'll laugh and you'll cry. From laughing. And for some reason people decided that this was the band to make-out to all around you. They have some sort of saucy sway over the twenty-one year olds that compels them to start licking tonsils.
They effortlessly clown through some technical difficulties with a salacious drum solo and the room is electrified. This won't be the last time we see these pop punk princes fill a main stage, mark my words. They are on the rise and you'd best get your star charts out now. Once everyone around me stopped sharing lipstick it was time for the second act. A band by the name of TOWNS.
TOWNS are an interesting act. Here we have an Adelaide duo with both drummer & guitarist sharing the vocals. It's exciting when a two-piece fills a room with so much sound. They have Blink 182 chemistry with a Tom & Mark comedy double-act in between each song. Their music is very Blink-influenced too. They do it so well though, with THE most incredible crowd-work and each song feels like a party with spiked punch. They've got Henry the Octopus on drums and Where's Wally on vox.
The singer has springs in his shoes, with never-before-seen stage-moves flying at our retinas, and the drummer brings the banter. If tumbling around to a 'whoa-oh' chorus is your thing, then get yourself sweaty and into a TOWNS pit. "This song is a new one," and all the crowd jumped. We even got a 'na-na-na' solo. These guys really went bananas. Next they whip out a sad one.
So sad that they had to start it twice - and always with the trademark comedy roar. TOWNS are master wizards with the audience interaction. "That's how sad we are - let's do it twice!" - world's greatest co-frontman drummer. The lights go low and they play their tear-pinching hit 'Bleach.' The goose bumps ignite.
The drummer goes in full Casey Calvert style and the night gets heavy. I think I just creamed my jorts.
But little did I know that this was nothing compared what comes next. That's right, humble reader, we thought the creaming had commenced. But this was only the beginning of the cream. Because these absolute madmen dabble in sorceries some would deem... unnatural. They go into a Smash Mouth cover.
My jorts. In tatters.
This is the greatest thing that has ever happened in these hallowed halls, and once time travel is invented they will use it for one thing only. And that is to re-live a thousand lives of Smash Mouth cover. Is it even allowed? They gave us the thrash ending to 'All-star' that we all need. How warped is the mind of those who conceived this? They called them freaks. Insane. The wizarding world shunned them. They were not ready for what TOWNS conjured up. These are 300 IQ sorcerers playing chess with god. TOWNS. Go and see TOWNS.
They play a new song that's about to be released and the singer is on the ground with some avant-garde dance-ology. Ian Curtis had the dying fly. This guy does the dying roach.
TOWNS, man. What a rollercoaster.
The third act of the play moves ahead with Beddy Rays from Reddy Bay. They even got a beer on-tap tonight. So pull up a stump and crack a frothy. It's about to get musical.
The crowd method act sardines as a thousand pairs of squiggly little eyes gobble up the stage eagerly. We're in for an old-fashioned jamboree. The singer is engaging, a larrikin. The guitarist is a psychedelic composer of stringed-wisdom untold. The bassist could cure world sadness. And the drummer is... there. Nah I'm joking, he's a sick cunt.
Surprisingly, a pit breaks out to what can only be described as the colourful soundtrack of friendship and joy. And we're off. We get special guests, we get interpretive dance from the singer, we get their manager doing a solo on guitar. We've got it all. There is even a Rob Trujillo crab walk from the guitarist - worth the ticket price alone.
The lights dim with only the singer remaining and we get a stripped-back acoustic one for his sister. Beautiful. Some lip-biting punk and the audience is melting. It gets raw, and the crowd is swaying. And then the band re-emerges. Best song. The crowd is feeling the tinglies and then we get a happy bopper.
Halfway through said bopper they reveal themselves to be psychopathic guitar lords. The overalls of the guitarist aren't the only optical illusion on stage. The other is his fingers. Translucent and never ending.
It's the biggest crowd they've every faced, they tell us. Off to another ditty and the audience is singing along from the very first note. We are pumped. Ravenous. They hit the pedals and the crowd starts melting. They've discovered the flange. A night to behold.
Big thanks to all three of the bands who gave it their all and showed us a whirlwind of musical furore. Bakers Eddy made us swoon. TOWNS made us rethink basic concepts of right and wrong. And Beddy Rays showed us a world where we all just get along with a beer in each hand and psychedelic soundwaves rule the air. there solos were a-flyin' and the taps were a-flowin'. The Princess Theatre always delivers and there's still life in the Old Girl yet. I would like to finish up with a poem, if I may:
Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me
I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed
She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb
In the shape of an "L" on her forehead
Well, the years start coming and they don't stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn't make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
So much to do, so much to see
So what's wrong with taking the back streets?
You'll never know if you don't go
You'll never shine if you don't glow