It was the wake of Halloween at Frankies, oh lets face it, it’s always Halloween at Frankies! A monumental occasion for majority of us, this was the first live gig since COVI.. fuck it I am not even going to type it, for the sheer fact it doesn’t have a space in my writing, let’s move on!
The big red curtain that cordons off the stage only heightens the excitement for what lies behind, is it the Great and Powerful Oz or is it 3x LOUD bands dying to perform the fruits of eight hard months of labour… a bit of column A, bit of Column B.
First Up, Birthday Raven, a self-proclaimed ‘shit punk’ band.The three-piece played hard with politically-laiden lyrics that fitted nicely against poster-billed walls. They had an endearing humility between the stark stage light and silences transitioning songs. Their crescendos hit like a wave that ascended for a very long time. In Blood Spilt, when it comes ‘down’ an impactful statement plays out to ensure you aren’t just passively entertained. Huge respect to these guys who gave it a shit load of energy and looked super stoked to be there.
As band 2 were getting prepared, staff beeline hurriedly with Ice buckets and glassy catchments to keep order, everything felt a little alien, perplexed I wavered “Are we in FRANKIES, sitting down cabaret style, listening to hard as hell bands?” The anxiety that we were doing something wrong quickly dissipated.
Snap straight to Molly & the Krells sound checking, we assumed there were a thousand people on that half moon stage, a fitting precedent for the audio shock that was about to come. These guys (four-piece) played with so much synergy and gusto, I was getting some real garage Sunk Loto vibes. Born entertainers with progressive punk that packs a punch. Refreshingly welcomed on the Sydney scene.
A guitar strap fell off mid-set, Clay (frontman of Clay J Gladstone) jumped on-stage to lend a hand so his mate could continue playing. The comradery brought a huge smile to everyones faces. Then like nothing ever happened the angular symmetry of guitars and Elvis stances continued beautifully.
All for Nothing was a personal favourite with its ‘stick it to the man’ tonality and anarchist punk vibes, an anthem of unity, fitting for this time of political unrest. These guys are ones to watch. A sea of flannelette, vinyl and shiny body jewels bobbed in their seats like an ‘Indie Ocean’.
As band 3 set up that familiar Frankies intermission playlist of Glam rock looped on, I felt the happiest I had in what felt like forever, within a microcosm of misfits, one that has always and will always feel like home.
Onto 5 piece Clay J Gladstone, the main act. A theatrical jamboree ensued, it grabbed you by the jugular, a sensory overload jam packed with multiple cultural influences and style. Frontman (Clay) embodied a punk Jim Morrison as he confronted the crowd, transcending into his craft. Track, Holly, really resonated with Clay’s voice smoothly transitioning, it echoed over a tidy but busy musical undercurrent.
Many of these guys had former band lives together, a rock solid pedigree between them. As its early days for this new outfit I look forward to Clay’s evolution and their schtick solidifying.
All in all ’twas a stellar eve’, one of promising upcoming music out of Sydney and surrounds, a nod of the cap to live music being back – full hearts and fucked ear drums will prevail.
Photo credit: @theundergroundstage