All we want for Christmas is more Polish Club

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All we want for Christmas is more Polish Club


David Novak, simply put, has a voice – a gravelly, primal cry that reverberates out into the night air and shakes the very fibres of your soul. This rawness is equal parts soul as it is garage-rock aggression, and it comes rolling in on a wave of rock’n’roll so thick and saturated one needs a towel to intermittently wipe off the swagger.

None of this is truer than for ‘Beeping’, a blistering racer that keeps the pace breakneck and the intensity lofty, threatening to derail the performance at any moment. There’s something to be said for seeing musicians at the edge of their ability like this, the thrill of seeing whether someone can pull it off.

Between songs the boys keep things light. They enjoy banter with the crowd, and have a habit of not taking themselves too seriously. It’s a brief respite from the ferocious pace of each track.

Palak kicks in the bass-drum and smacks the tom-toms into submission. It’s a clarion call for Novak to roar into ‘Where U Been?’.  It’s warm, relentless rock’n’roll and demands the attention of all in the crowd. “Woah, key change,” Palak interjects mid-song, as Novak alters the key. It’s a sly pre-empt before the band switches into a rendition of the Foo Fighter’s ‘Monkey Wrench’. The timelessness of this track and familiar lyrics has almost all in the crowd joyfully singing along in recognition.

“Now, I want to play you a Mariah Carey song,” Novak says. “It’s kind of shit, but whatever, it’s quick, so it’ll be over soon.” And just like that, Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’ came flying out. The jolly spirit somehow managed to still persist outwards through the heavy drums and guitar distortion. A funny moment, but hey, it was the Christmas Party Tour after all.

Novak on that point yells out, “Hey, let’s bring out Ray from West Thebarton on stage to do a Christmas song for no reason.” What they do rip into is a cover of Powderfinger’s ‘(Baby I’ve Got You) On My Mind’. Ray, a man who’s no slouch either, seemed the perfect husky companion to deliver the intensity of Polish Club’s output.

They exit the stage with no warning, and it dims black. The cheers for more persist, and inevitably the band comes back on. ‘Able’ from this cluster of songs is the most memorable. A force of nature unto itself. This song sees the boys at their best. Novak’s howl screams out into the ether, crackling with the accent of a well-worn vinyl. All the while Palak’s heavy drums smack out the path ahead. The moment shoots up the spine and into the void left between now and the last time you listened to an Otis Redding record.

Highlight: Ray from West Thebarton jumping on stage for ‘(Baby I’ve got you) On My Mind’.

Lowlight:  At times, the wall of sound coming from stage was too dense.

Crowd favourite: ‘Able’.