What started off as an empty room, apart from those on the barrier, who guarded their spots for the night, within their third song; Green dress, Brisbane three-piece Good Boy had gained a few screams of approval from the crowd. Taking up the pace with Higher, like the aforementioned track, the songs from the most recent EP, No Love for Back Home (2016) were received well.
With similarities to indie rock sensations Custard who took the 90’s by storm; also forming in Brisbane with something in the water perhaps, it is no surprise why tonight’s headliners chose the lads as the opening act for the night.
Drummer Stu McKenzie keeps a steady rock beat as vocalist Rian King grooves along with his four string, before introducing a touching song about guitarist Tom Lindemans’ dead dog, Millie. Waters are tested in the form of Fishing with a Shotgun and its looks as if we have some bites here. Next up is brand spanking new track BRAAP, take off the Good Boy & Jarrow Split 7” (2017). The jam between band members which ends the song is a highlight with set closer, Poverty line, a song featured on Triple J’s Unearthed going down a treat.
The surf rock duo from Windang, NSW, Hockey Dad are up next providing some tight musicianship from vocalist/guitarist Zach Stephenson and drummer Billy Fleming, born in 1994 and 1996 respectively, only three and a year before the main events release tonight, marking its 20th anniversary.
Kicking things off with Can’t Have Them, the opening track off the debut LP, Boronia (2016) before turning heads with Beach House, a track off the debut EP, Dreamin‘ (2014).
Waters were tested with the first brand-new song, yet to be released, which went down well with the crowd who if were fish were definitely taking the bait. Another song was played off the newbie in the form of Laura. Followed by I Need a Woman, a hit from the EP before the crowd was treated to more new blood.
Back to back tracks from Boronia ease from A Night Out With to the upbeat Raygun. Another unreleased song is thrown in for good measure before closing the set with So Tired.
It was clear to see how stoked the supports were to be sharing the stage with Grinspoon, from the grins on their faces, take the pun as you will. Both artists featured on ‘Triple J’s Unearthed‘ it is no wonder why they were chosen supports.
It wasn’t long until the reason everyone was here tonight took the stage. Lead by frontman Phil Jamieson who danced around all night waves swinging like an excited child tearing wrapping paper off a present. Sounding better than ever, the five-year break has done the vocalist justice ripping a new one in Sydney with Pressure Tested 1984, the opening track off the seminal Guide To Better Living (1997) which is played in its entirety tonight.
From the catchiness off Boundary to the stomping DC x 3, fans sang along to every word like a choir. The guitar riffs of Pat Davern seemed heavier with guitar solos on Sickfest ringing out across the sold-out venue. The galloping bass of Joe Hansen leads the groove for a song about skating, that being Railrider. Scalped, the first of two songs about losing hair, something Phil jokes about, ‘as it must have been an important issue back then’; the second being Balding Matters which features later in the tight set.
Phil lets the audience know about it being the 20th anniversary for Guide to Better Living and that everyone was here for its 20th birthday which was very exciting stuff for the band. This leads into Pedestrian, with that famous line, “Happy birthday
Sorry but the cake is gone”, Kristian Hopes in tow belting away behind the kit with tight precision. The mixed crowd, mostly older fans sing in unison to Just Ace while the younger teenyboppers bounce like escaped mental patients finding themselves on a trampoline.
Nostalgia took a hold and a timewarp to 1997 took full effect with highlights from the surreal Champion and Post Enebriated Anxiety. The coolness of Bad Funk Stripe and that guitar note that sounds like its blurting out the words “Pay the rent, Pay the rent” sends shivers down one’s spine. I need a Truk like I need a Fuck goes down well with that secret track, Protest thrown in for good measure with Phil going solo.
After an encore, we had Chemical Heart and Lost Control, taken from New Detention (2002), with Ready 1 from Easy (1999). Followed by two more tracks from New Detention; No Reason, and 1000 Miles pleased the crowd. Hard Act to Follow from Thrills, Kills & Sunday Pills (2004) showed the band’s rocking side. Ending with More Than You Are, a standout from the EP, Pushing Buttons (1998). The only thing missing tonight was songs off early EP’s, Grinspoon (1995) and Licker Bottle Cozy (1996).
Tonight the Grinners were flawless, proving why they are one of the most important Aussie rock acts out there. All the more reason to go out and support your local talent.