Updated: 12 hours ago
To see These New South Whales live is like seeing a kid smash a dozen eggs in a row, one by one with a hammer. It's fun. It's crunchy. It's sticky. Shit flies everywhere. And each song is a banger.
I was meant to pump this article around Christmas, but the seasonal festivities took hold. I was distracted by Santa coming down my chimney. After guzzling down my milk & cookies, he took my carrot and emptied his sack. And then Santa gave me the greatest gift of all: Writer's Block. But luckily it could be cured by listening to TNSW's latest single, 'Film The Cops' on repeat until inspiration came. Chilling in the afterglow, I thought it best to check out the photos from the gig. "Sweet Ron and Hermione," I cried in dismay as I realised that the film had come out all dark and underexposed. Usually The Brightside is sick for taking photos. You know it and love it. The velvet booths. The rained-out no-cover smoker's bants. The slosh pit & perfect height end stage. Well this had none of that, because this was in the swampy carpark outside. Shout out to my friend's band Bush Poetry, who played inside! You were looking steezing that night, woop woop.
I've been out the back before for some wrastlin' but this was a whole new affair. There was a behemoth of steel and red stage lights, a massive stage twice as high as Snoop, looming in the distance. The film photos all came out blacker than the blackest black because it was simply so tall and so far away. But that was the only negative, because the pros far outweighed this tiny con. It was an incredible dance space. Pits could break out easily. The seccies were not too strict & walked the line of enforcement perfectly to deliver a fun, safe gig. There was room enough for people to sit around the edges when their legs became tired, and it was spacious enough to accommodate the crowd, which swelled to a clowder by the end.
The Brighty always pops off, so let's jump into the bands. A stellar line up of five bands, we had Slowrip, Girl and Girl, Dopamine, Seaside, and the belles of the ball, These New South Whales.
It was the classic Brighty with a twist, there were 2 gigs on tonight. The back stage was lit up and ready to go. Our first cabs off the rank step up to the podium, and the start sludgy. Psychadelic. Hard. Grimy. And with doomy bass. The freakazoids from inner space are Slowrip, and they're here to knock our frocks off.
I wish the film for these dudes turned out better, because they can really dodge, duck, dip, dive & dodge. They move like guitar-straddling meerkats, and the singer adopts a deep Faris Badwan voice. And all the while, the guitar drives the bus.
"G'day, we are Slowrip. Welcome to the evening.."
They are freaky. Shoegazey. The drummer does backing vox while going off, The Rev-style. Their second song starts off cybernetic, before going hard. It's stabby on the guitar, with a hint of mystery. A growl ushers us down the rabbit hole. I'm again reminded of The Horrors, with some Jack the Ripper delivery. They're fuckin' scary! With some doomy guitars, wailing. I really like them. They might even be my favourite support act of the night. I can't wait until they're bigger and can be the penultimate act, or maybe even headline their own stuff. Because Slowrip are crazy. And they can really get the growing crowd moving.
Their third song starts off hard and fast like Sonic Youth, it's like a revolving mirror, and always with the guitar droning. Look at those shoes! Gaze upon them! Stare! The crowd swells as they carry on, heedless and faster. They move on to the next ditty:
"This song is about an aeroplane. Probably haven't caught one in years, mate."
Deep voice booming despite his skinny size, this song is the doomiest & gloomiest yet. Flashing lights and feedback fill the night as the song gets darker and marches forward. Their next song starts with a shriek on the strings and some sort of glidings scale freakiness. It builds and groans, always moving forward. Always flying higher. We get some solo freakiness, some wails and moans. It's the best schralp sesh so far, and I've been really digging every song - so that's saying a lot. The whammy's getting a work out, and it comes to a close. We get some good audience interaction from the singer, ever a larrikin. The next song starts with some '(Don't Fear) The Reaper' guitar, and we get some improv & tailored lyrics dedicated to The Brighty carpark, and the 15 people in it. After this we get an ode to his little pet bird, with some wailing guttural vocals and nightmare-carousel guitar that traps you. The singer is tuning his guitar in and out on the fly while he plays, and it's getting freaky.
These guys groove and growl, they chug, they slug, they glug and they mug. They capture you. Their final song is a "Real quick one," running for about 8 minutes. It starts off with doomy slugs on the worm strings, and then the rattlesnake venom hits. It's a growly hit from a space sci-fi futurescape with a fake-out ending, leading us into an interstellar freakshow breakdown. It's a fatal cocktail of reverb, gain & feedback, pushing us over the edge into scary town. I like it. Don't bring your mum to see these guys. She'll never go anywhere without her trusty crucifix and earplugs again. Slowrip, man. Slow fucking Rip.
Next up we have Girl and Girl. My boss hyped them up for me, saying the go hard, with some King Gizz energy. I like them from the start, when they do a comedy sound check. They've got bass deeper than the Mariana Trench, juxtaposed with some weirdly jangly, spry guitar. The drummer is my favourite member of the band, Aunty Liss, with her nephew Kai sporting the pencil skirt and spitting spells. They flit between croons & 'Blackbird' guitar, to pump-up drums kicking your teeth in.
They sound like a Pixar movie soundtrack (in a good way) until the rug gets pulled and a strange bridge washes over us. All the layers fade away and we get some guitar with a strange suppression effect on it. This is when they start to get freaky, and from here they sound like a summer fling that's come to an end. Steamy but morose.
Song number 2 starts off with some sort of futuristic happy 'Dammit' intro. It's almost like Ska's little brother, but without the brass. Or skanking. It's boppy. Usually I'm too critical on happy music, but these delvers have bottled it up perfectly, because the whole crowd's moving.
Girl and Girl are the perfect band if you want to sway in the morning. They've got cool drum shuffles pushing it all along, great audience interaction and an odd combo of happy and remorseful, bitter sad-guitar. Like if Bug's Life was a tragedy. Aunty Liss is always goin' off, and the pencil skirt always gets slightly more and more torn. They go hard.