Photos by Brandon Shields

When your first gig review of the year is The Bennies, you know you’re in for a seriously good time and that the year ahead is starting out right! The Bennies kicked off their latest tour at The Zoo in Brisbane last night and as always they delivered an absolutely killer show. The Zoo packed out quickly with Brisbane Bennies fans all pumped for an awesome night from one of the most high energy and good time bands around. All the support bands The Bennies have chosen for this tour are absolutely top shelf with punk rock sweethearts Something Something Explosion and psych reggae boys Hemingway scoring the Brisbane support slots.

Something Something Explosion are continuously going from strength to strength and with the talent this punk rock trio from Toowoomba share, it is easy to see why. They hit the stage first, opening with one of my favourite tracks Motor Mouth. As always lead singer and guitarist Grace Drummond’s vocals were faultless. Drummond has an energy and stage presence that completely draws you in and it is clear she was born to be on the stage mesmerising crowds while pelting out punk rock songs. In saying that, Drummond can effortlessly flick from punk rock vocals to sweet and soft vocals with a strength in her voice that would suit any genre. The set included three new tracks, Dumb Feelings, Bootleg Mace and Hard Times and also included a cover of Slipknots Snuff with Drummond announcing, “I know we are at a Bennies show, but how do you feel about Slipknot?” before delivering a beautiful solo cover of the song. Something Something Explosion were the perfect choice to kick off the night and a perfect band to kick off the whole tour.

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Next up Hemingway funked up the stage with their sweet psych reggae funkadelic tunes. Last time I saw Hemingway was at Stones Corner Festival a couple of years ago and I thought they were ok but after last nights performance they have won my heart. They clearly had a lot of fans in the audience too with the space in front of the stage becoming more packed in as they graced the stage. They delivered an awesome set with the stand out tracks for me being Soul Food and Mauve Magic. The set also included them breaking into Cypress Hill’s Insane In The Brain changing up the lyrics a bit singing “Hemingway was already insane…” These guys are insanely good and they have big things coming this year so if you don’t already know them, you should totally check them out right now.

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Every single time I see The Bennies perform live they completely blow my mind. Last night was one of their best performances I have seen yet with fans crowding the stage and dripping in not only our own sweat but also each other’s as we braved the heat of The Zoo to get as close as possible to the stage to take in the pure musical magic that is The Bennies. There is honestly nothing in this world like a Bennies gig, these guys are true party machines and they can work a whole room into a super happy frenzy within minutes of hitting the stage. Talented musicians who are all born to perform and also all round nice guys, it is easy to see why The Bennies are so successful. They played an absolutely killer set with all the fan favourites, including my personal favourites, Corruption and Legalise (But Don’t Tax) They also played their new single Waiting For Dave which was released yesterday morning, just in time for their tour. Saving undoubtably one of their biggest hits Party Machine till the end, the crowd went nuts as frontman Anty Horgan pelted out “Well, I got a…Well, I got a…Well, I got a…Well, I got a thirst that can never be quenched, I got my thirty-five dollars and I’m fixed up for the night, I only got one life, but it’s worth fifteen, I wanna get wild, get weird and get fucked up!…” With bass player Nick Williams announcing at the end of the set “That was one of the funnest shows I have played with these guys yet! Thank you so much Brisbane!” Well thank you Bennies for always delivering a stellar performance and for giving me a perfect gig to kick off my reviews for the year!

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The Bennies tour continues tonight in Sydney at The Factory Floor then onto Melbourne on the 18th, Perth on the 25th, Fremantle on the 26th and finishing up in Adelaide on the 27th. Brought to you by Pool House Records, you can grab your tickets from The Bennies website HERE. I highly recommend you get to one or more of these shows!