Words by Shannon- Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer.
Photos by Alaina Goulder – Lainiey.george.
Friday night could not come soon enough for me this week. After a long week full of things that I won’t bore you with, let’s just say a night of high-quality live music along with at least one espresso martini was required, rather desperately. I made my way into the valley to the intimate Greaser bar was where I was bound to find the things in need. Greaser is a small venue that does not often do ticketed shows, but I can see this becoming a more regular thing and I felt it was a perfect choice for last night’s show. The tiny stage and brick walled basement style surroundings sets a vibe and feeling of being up there on the stage with the bands yourself. The intimacy of the venue is a big win in my opinion. A couple of free beers thanks to the kind people at Young Henrys to begin the night and things were off to a good start!
Sydney’s Kings of shitty grunge, The Dead Love kicked off their Pick Me Up tour last night with a sold-out show with support from two local Brisbane bands, Meeting DAVE and Waxflower. Being unfamiliar with both support bands I was unsure what to expect. I mean, supporting a band like The Dead Love is a big deal. Dead Love are known for playing a killer live show, so if you are going to support them, you had best bring your A game and bring it really fucking good! Both bands most definitely did that and exceeded any expectations I may have had or at least had hoped for.
Meeting DAVE are a fairly new local indie grunge band and after seeing them play last night, I am excited to see where these guys will go. I was surprised to hear they had only been playing together for a short time, that their drummer for the night was a fill in and that this was his first show with them. They played a tight set and gave the impression they’d been rocking out together for a lot longer than they have. With a familiar face on lead guitar, the super tall and super lovely sound magician from Tomcat, Jono Frowd, Jake Barry on guitar and vocals, Tahlia Baumann on bass and vocals and the multi-talented Ben Wilcox filling in on drums, who you may know from his other musical projects, Hot Reno and Ben Tenison.
The first thing that stood out to me was Wilcox’s drumming. Holy shit. The first couple of tracks had me feeling like I was watching a young Dave Grohl behind the drum kit. Wilcox plays fucking hard and doesn’t miss a beat and the exciting thing is, it looks like he will be continuing to jam with the band, becoming a permanent member.
With Barry and Baumann swapping roles for a song or two, swapping instruments and vocal duties which made for a sweet little change mid set. Baumann is an absolute star; I love her presence on stage and her vocals are something I could listen to all day. Barry let me in on the fact there is no actual ‘Dave’ so to speak and there is a story behind the name. Meeting DAVE is an acronym and stands for ‘Meeting our Defeated, Ambiguous and Victorious Emotions.’ The standout song for me was their closing song Thank You, an honest and heartfelt break up song that frontman Barry explains is more of a thank you note, than a traditional break up song. I honestly can’t express enough how much this band impressed me. I want to book them on a gig right now. They are going places and I can tell you that you most definitely want to ‘meet Dave.’
Next up, Waxflower took to the stage to a packed out room. This was their first live show and they had fans super pumped to see them play. Again, I was really impressed not only by the band themselves, but by the huge amount of support in the room for these guys. They sounded very polished and it was clear the whole band were dedicated and committed to the Waxflower cause. With Clint from The Dead Love even sporting a Waxflower shirt in support. The guys were clearly pumped to be playing their first show and to be supporting Dead Love. They seemed slightly overwhelmed by how packed the place was and how much support they had, but this seemed to only drive them more to play a kick ass set.
They played their latest single Cut Your Teeth, which is reminiscent of some old school Kisschasy (how good were Kisschasy!?) Funny thing is, I only just clicked on Waxflower’s website and as it turns out the guys are in fact fans of Kisschasy, so there you go. I certainly can hear the influence there! It also states that the band came together through personal struggles with mental health and self acceptance. A perfect example of how music brings us closer together. Music is such an amazingly healing and magical energy. Waxflower continue on tour with Dead Love for their next two shows in Melbourne and Sydney and then play Crowbar, supporting Belle Haven and Better Half on July 27. I highly recommend you go see them at one or more of these shows.
And now to The Dead Love. Oh my heart! These guys are everything you want from a grunge band. My grunge loving heart did somersaults the first time I saw them live (which was when they supported Shihad at The Triffid late last year alongside Brisbane’s Young Lions – what a show that was!). The Dead Love are a three piece that pack a hard punch when they play live. Loud, relentless and delivered to perfection every time with vocals from Stevie Knight always completely on point. His voice can go from a faultless clean vocal to a grungy raw vocal with a smooth transition. With Clint Ossington on bass and Miles Cochrane on drums and both of them doing backing vocals, the guys complement each other so well and I love watching them play together. The sound coming out of Greaser last night was bigger than ever.
They played a set full of all their best tracks, opening with one of their most recent, Anyway which they released just after signing to Adventure Cat Records earlier this year. They also included an absolutely awesome cover of System Of A Down’s Chop Suey! which was a stand out for me, totally unexpected and delivered so well and another perfect display of how Knight can slide from clean to raw and brutal vocals so smoothly.
There are a long list of reasons why I have so much love for Dead Love, not only are they extremely talented and dedicated musicians, but they are absolutely gorgeous human beings, inside and out. I was talking to a guy at the bar and he explained they had been scammed by a ticket scammer and so the Dead Love guys organised for them to get free entry. The Dead Love are also just really bloody good at all the things, being a social media manager for a few bands and music festivals now and in the past, I appreciate good social media, they kill it at this too. All these things combined are why The Dead Love have such a huge following of dedicated fans who will go to great lengths to see them and support them in any way we can. Be a good person, have talent, be committed and dedicated, play hard, be nice to your fans, support other bands and you’ve got a winning recipe for your band to succeed.
The guys did a shout out of appreciation to their support bands before playing their last few tracks for the set. They saved two of my personal favourites for last, with the new single Pick Me Up and then finishing with the divine Sugarcoat. Ahhhh bliss to my ears. It was all over too quick! But fans were treated to a DJ set from Knight, Ossington and Cochrane as they headed next door to Crowbar to take over the little Crowbar Black stage and spin us some tunes! Crowbar was a buzz with bands and music fans alike. The valley showcased a huge amount of talent last night with so many great gigs on and it seemed most people headed to Crowbar after their gigs to kick on. What a night. What a band. The Dead Love have my support and love always. Cheers guys, come back to Brissy soon!!
The Pick Me Up tour continues in Melbourne on July 12 and then Sydney on July 18. Get your tickets HERE.
The Dead Love have also been announced as one of the bands playing Brisbane’s BIGSOUND Festival in September, so make sure you catch them at that too!