Walking into The Grace Darling Hotel Thursday night, you would have been excused for thinking you were entering the upstairs of your friend’s townhouse. In a night only heightened more by the fact the next day had become a statewide public holiday – cheers again for that Eddie Mcguire – crowds flocked into a little room that channelled the vibes of a house show; erupting into an atmosphere that not only allowed me to re-evaluate just how live music should be, but instantly curious to attend far more shows of this genre.
Emphasising this intimacy the two local openers Gonzo and Dumb Punts; these acts drew in crowds. For what proved to be alcohol-fuelled and energetic chaos, the bands channelled the roots of indie-rock and infused it with classic Australian garage rock; both bands worked as a testament to the fertility of the emerging genre. From the get-go, audiences seemed undividedly engaged with the performers, regardless of whether they were the supports or headliners.
Onlookers were dragged into each band set with beers in hand, much like the same way they would be dragged to dance at some crappy party at their friend’s house. In a room which felt no different to being in a room full of people you were friends with, the bands built upon the intimacy of the night – exhibiting a certain rawness that goes hand in hand with their very DIY approach to their music, causing cultivation of nothing but smooth and relaxed vibes.
Building upon this atmosphere and bringing the night to an absolute peak, sun-bleached Byron Bay sweethearts Skegss took to the stage with their summery, nostalgia-inducing sounds, showcasing the reason they have amounted such a cult following along their journey. Signing with Ratbag Records earlier this year, the ensemble demonstrated that they have only continued to progressively move forward, churning out an astonishingly unique, yet familiar sound that draws on the roots of pop, punk and rock, and translated live into a dynamic set. It found the perfect balance between improvised chaos and a perfected sound fusion.
Skegss delivered a strong and immersive set that had audiences captivated from its start to finish, transforming into a united sing-a-long in songs such as ‘L.S.D’. The band worked along with the house show vibes The Grace Darling hotel was offering up, ending the night with crowds screaming for more, and reinforcing them as an ever-emerging force within this DIY style of music that are demanding people to watch as they continue to grow.