If there was any doubt that rock & roll was back in the spotlight, tonight’s sold-out show (19 August) put an end to that, with tickets hard to come by for not only this gig but Luca Brasi’s entire national tour.
And it’s a solid line-up too, with Adelaide’s rising stars of emotive folk-punk the Hard Aches and UK emo act Moose Blood. Not surprisingly, the main room of Oxford Art Factory was mostly full by 9pm, with Ben David beaming with appreciation for the crowd down early to catch his Hard Aches.
Pulling from 2015’s debut album 'Pheremones', crowd-pleasing anthems like ‘Loser’ and the catchy ‘I Get Like This’ were always going to go down a treat on a Friday night and they didn’t disappoint.
While Tasmanian punks Luca Brasi were the main drawcard, there were more than enough devoted Moose Blood fans to surprise the band when they took the stage. Taken aback, given that it’s their first Aussie tour and their profile is fairly small outside of British emo fans, frontman Eddy Brewerton was all smiles as the band delivered a seamless set of tunes from 2014’s excellent debut ‘I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time’ and this year’s ‘Blush’ – like the latter album’s standout single ‘Honey’.
While the energy level of the act was a little subdued sandwiched between two fist-in-the-air powerhouses, their assured sound and all-encompassing layers of guitar had no trouble holding most of the crowd’s attention.
Finally, Luca Brasi took to the stage for their biggest Sydney headline club show yet, having just passed through town a few months ago in support of The Smith Street Band. The high-energy set peaked early and stayed right up there, as the band tore through ‘Aeroplane’, older tune ‘Southbound’ – dedicated to the vocal Tasmanian contingent in the audience – ‘The Cascade Blues’, ‘Overwhelmed/Ill Prepared’ and ‘Count Me Out’ among the mixed set.
As security staff fretted about the swell of crowd surfers and stage divers, only the brave were set to enter the pit. (And, as it turned out, with good reason. In the aftermath, Luca Brasi posted on social media about how ‘two good mates’ were grabbed in the pit, with the band disappointed in the lack of respect shown among their fans. ‘Everyone has the right to be safe and other people’s bodies ARE NOT YOUR PROPERTY,’ they wrote, directing it at ‘a certain piece of shit male in the audience’. And much respect to the band for calling such punters out.)
But on a more positive note, the band’s undeniable charm and Australianness – delivered so well by frontman Tyler Richardson – underpins their solid tunes to be their real drawcard. And it was no more apparent than in their stirring rendition of Paul Kelly’s ‘How To Make Gravy’. The bittersweet classic was given an uplifting, rousing sheen that really struck a chord. Just try to not feel something during that. It was a fitting emotive high to end this Friday night on, too.