“This is literally the best day of my life, like actually I don’t think I’ve had a better day ever. We played super early, and it was super fun, and now I get to see all my mates do super fun things too.” This is pretty much what I was greeted with when I arrived at Argyle House last night. The words, spoken to me by one of my favourite local people as he parted the crowd to give me a gigantic hug. Daniel Foster is of course at least 11 ft tall, so you can imagine exactly what this scene looked like. And by the time 10pm rolled around, these were pretty much my thoughts exactly, I’ll also add “hot damn they did it”.
I’ll be upfront and admit this straight up and early on in the piece, I was definitely skeptical about the event. I had no idea whether Joab Eastley’s wildest dreams would come to life, or whether (Love + Rent’s) Ben Cooper would be able to keep up with the way Joab’s brain bounces forwards not backwards, upwards not forwards and forever twirling, twirling towards RAAVE land. But… when I arrived at 6pm thinking perhaps I was a little early, I actually felt like I’d rocked up late to a house party thrown for anyone and everyone who loves music, loves Newcastle, and like me just wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
I did what I do best, found a spot in the corner, settled in with a $5 tin, (thank you Murrays) and let the music roll on in around me. Yes, I did miss many a local legend, as more than one punter pointed out to me, but judging by the amount of fun the Oilbaron bbies were having in the pit and earlier words from Underachiever’s frontman were enough for me to be able to say, they played an awesome set. Sydney trio Froyo played the happiest string of 80’s inspired synth pop that I’ve been privy to in a while, and had me chasing more of their tunes this morning. A delight to the ears, please come back to Newcastle soon.
I asked my editor this morning if perhaps I could just spend this review taking about how amazing Moaning Lisa are but apparently it’s just not cricket. The four piece from Canberra played a fiercely broody set, that screamed old school punk nostalgia and literally made my little punk heart so warm I could have died happy in the pit. Charlie and Hayley’s vocals were unapologetic, on point and honestly something I never thought I would hear coming out of
Fannys Argyle House on ‘Any Given Sunday’. A very special mention to Charlie for calling the girls to the front in the middle of their set, you are a wonderful wonderful human.
Good Boy have a song called ‘Poverty Line,’ and I think the message I sent to my mate said I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at just how real that whole thing is. That aside, the guys were amazing, the crowd was energetic and literally throwing themselves around in a fit of pure enjoyment. There’s never really been a doubt in my mind that Newy kids know how to party, and thankfully things didn’t get too out of hand.
Now. Newcastle does not deserve the angel that is Joab Eastley, and RAAVE TAPES proved exactly why they are one of the best bands kicking about town at the moment. Their entire set was absolutely, without a doubt, one of he best I have personally seen in the longest of long times. But, with the Argyle not really fit to accommodate a mosh heavy crowd, things did indeed start to get a little rowdy at one point, but with Joab at the helm, there was pretty much nothing that was going to get in their way. Props to bassist Lindsay for fighting through and flipping killing the set despite her mini stint in hospital recently (you’re actually my favourite Raave bby). Hits like ‘2 u xoxo’ and their latest single ‘k bye’ had the entire crowd singing along. Even those who perhaps had no idea who RAAVE TAPES were, but by the end, they knew they were in love. It’s just the way it goes. By the time the last song came through, and ‘that guy’ decided to be ‘that guy’ and crowd surf his way into trouble, the crowd and the venue were definitely feeling the weight of true capacity. RAAVE TAPES started the final song in their set but cut the entire giggo in half when things started to get just that little bit too rowdy for comfort. Take note. Anyone who is in a band, or performs on stage, this is how you handle this situation.
“Hey actually, can everyone like sit down, yeah let’s do that. I know we all love dancing heaps but this barrier isn’t liking us at the moment and everyone is just partying a little too hard so this song is called ‘How To Make Gravy’. So that’s exactly what we did. At 10pm, on a Sunday night, in the middle of the Argyle House, Joab Eastley got the entire crowd to sit down, love each other a little bit, and he created the most wonderful moment that I’ll keep in my back pocket for a very very long time.
So, did RAAVE TAPES and Love + Rent actually pull off what most thought was impossible? Yes, yes the flipping did. So props, congratulations etc, from me to all involved. U R Awesome.