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LIVE REVIEW - TOTTY @ Black Bear Lodge

TOTTY are on tour, and with supports like Pandamic, there wasn’t a better time or excuse to sneak our way into Black Bear Lodgeon a Friday night.

Pandamichave a new single out, and another EP on the way, so, it seemed only right they get out to test some of that new material, and play all the best from their first two EPs.

After a few teases of new tracks, the band played what may be the greatest Like A Version you will never get to enjoy, a punk grunge cover of the B-52’s seminal and pop culture classic, ‘Rock Lobster’.

It was the first, and likely only, circle pit I will ever see caused by a B-52’s song, unless you count oversexed Baby Boomers dry humping to ‘Love Shack’.

A throwback to the band’s early days, the high speed skate punk sound of ‘Scumbag’ still gets the blood pumping. From old to new, fresh single ‘Sweater’ was next, and it saw some crowd surfing, which due to venue size restrictions, was one guy getting carried around in a circle by a few larger blokes.

Placed in a time capsule in 1997 and safely preserved until 2017, ‘SAM’ captures the essence of the 90s punk period with its frantic electric guitar and its social outcast story. The thought of ruining a party just by attending is equal parts hilarious and depressing.

Pandamic closed it all out with ‘Heck’, and you couldn’t help but yell “I feel so alone when I’m with you” as the chorus climbed. The emotional core and the singable lyrics make this a great set closer.

If you have been on the fence, let me tell you, now is the time to catch Pandamic at a divey venue near you. There is a feeling in the air that the band is on the cusp of a serious breakout, and this may be your last chance to say you slam danced to them before they were big.

Up from NSW and banging around the country, TOTTY has plenty to offer, with a growing catalogue of great tracks and a genuine love for performing live.

‘SIGH’ was up the first track up, its slow open and wind up a fitting opener from the band. I spied more than a couple of beers get spilt as “It’s never me, it’s always you” roared.

The band’s first EP, Cut The Poppies, come out last year, and it’s best moments got dropped in quick succussion, with both ‘Pho’ and ‘Ovaryt’ getting a spin.

Lead singer Kelly was a couple of beers in and looking pretty jazzed to be playing to a packed house. Her tight and well-rehearsed performance was in hilarious contrast to her rambling segues between songs. Over-sharing reached new heights as references were made to Brazilian man named Totty and wet butt cracks.

Tributes flowed for mums and dogs, with some stern clarification that the band is named after the dog, not Kelly’s mum. I hope Kelly’s mum doesn’t take the fact the band preferred the dog’s name personally.

The final leg of the set was stacked with all the best TOTTY has to offer. ‘RIFF’ launched the band and seems to have been created for the sole purpose of being blasted on long road trips, with the windows down and the car stereo volume maxed out. ‘Uncomfortable’ keeps the energy, but is definitely from a more vulnerable place. With its self-reflective lyrics, it is an expressive deconstruction of a dysfunctional relationship. “Never thought I’d walk away, never thought I would” sounds both so pained and so cathartic at the same time. The tour was in support of the new single, so, it was no surprise was that ‘Lucky’ was saved till last.

‘Lucky’ has gone straight in the list of ‘Great Songs About Trying To Make It As A Band, And It Sucking’. The band must be pretty pleased that song about all their hard work being constantly undermined has seen them garner even more popularity. What better way to stick it to all the naysayers? If you are heading down for Falls over the New Year’s weekend, be sure to brave the heat and get in early to catch all the TOTTY action. It is sure to be wet butt crack galore.



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