New friendships were forged when Slowly Slowly took over the Workers Club
Deep Scene played to an already packed room, treating punters to their brand of melodic punk rock. If this was the bar to be set for the night, anticipation was already high.
The second band – and a highlight of the night – was Melbourne post-punk legends Bench Press. Aussie punk at its finest was showcased by frontman Jack Stavrakis. He radiated a palpable and nervous energy, urging the set along at a frantic pace. Gritty vocals were shouted with brutal honesty, backed up by a shredding bass line, frenzied drumming and ripping guitar licks. The set was short and sweet but left everyone with a sense of catharsis, their frustrations somehow empathically dissolved. These blokes have been doing a shit load of gigs recently and you’d be a drongo to not see them at least once.
Emo punk three-piece Foley brought a smoother side to the proceedings, drenching the crowd in a wave of super posi, upbeat tunes. After the assault that was Bench Press, Foley cooled down the room while still maintaining a cracking tempo.
Ben Stewart and Alex Quayle – the two heads behind Slowly Slowly – are an impressive young act. The lyricism of the Melbourne duo was stunningly genuine, a frank memoir playing out on stage. The talented musicians harnessed the unrelenting power of their punk-pop-rock, slipping between their raw rock vibes and an acoustic, introspective feel.
Stewart, is an intriguing, lovely frontman to watch. Though a gritty, true punk rock sensibility permeated his performance, he maintained a gentleness and a believable ache on stage. Toward the end of the set, he asked everyone to rock on to an after party “If I don’t know you personally yet, I want to,” he said, and everyone in the room believed him. Every word that he sang, for that matter, was believed. He took on the encore entirely by himself, and the acoustic set made for a resounding highlight of the evening.
Their killer single PMTWGR (Pussy Makes the World Go Round – yes, really) lit up the evening, the crowd coming alive for their clear favourite track.
Words by Claire Morley & Bel Ryan
Image by Lewis Nixon
Highlight: Feeling like I’d made a new friend in the form of Ben Stewart. Also Bench Press.
Lowlight: The heat of the day meant everyone was at least a little sweaty.
Crowd Favourite: Screaming Pussy Makes the World Go Round.