REVIEW: Totally Unicorn @ The Cambridge Hotel Sidebar

The Cambridge sidebar has been given a complete overhaul, much like the main room has. The hardwood floors and small corner stage are no more; the bar has been ripped out, and a more standard stage has been placed at the end of the room. If tonight’s show is anything to go by, The Cambridge have a fantastic new room on their hands, one that could accomadate large local shows and smaller national touring acts with ease.

Local Pop Punk act Eat Your Heart Out are a last minute addition to the bill, replacing Grim Indiana. The crowd are still shuffling in as the band hit the stage, but those in attendence enjoy the tight set from the four piece. Eat Your Heart Out have had a big year so far, and their show has become a well oiled machine as a result.

Recently returning to the city of Newcastle, Jamie Hay was up next with an acoustic set. With a history in Australia’s alternative music scene that many could only dream of, Hay has become a seasoned and engaging performer. Set highlight includes a solo cover of Propaghandi‘s ‘Without Love’; that goes from Crossover Thrash song to an aching acoustic ballad.

Melbourne’s Pagan are up next, the bands first time in Newcastle. Bringing in influences from Metal, Punk, and Emo their set was a force to be reconed with. Nikola fronts the band with a furious passion, utalizing a higher-register scream as opposed to Metal’s usual guteral growl. Their set had the entire room engaged from start to finish.

It’s party time! Totally Unicorn a here! Trying to explain a Totally Unicorn set to someone who has never seen it is a bit like explaining how water tastes. They play wildly techy grindcore songs, and are the heaviest band on the bill this evening. The majority of the set is focused on frontman Drew; a large, hairy bearded man with homejob tattoos across his body. He begins the set in a tie-die hoodie & sweats combo…but quickly just strips down to a pair of tie-die underpants. Drew makes full use of his microphone cable; running from side-to-side, walking to the back of the venue, performing handstands, kissing a security guard, and climbing a speaker stack to sing ontop of it. It’s truly a sight to behold. It’s a non-stop party from start to finish, exactly what the punters came to see.

Written by Spencer Scott

Spencer is a singer/songwriter from Newcastle. He's also a Triple J Unearthed Super User and writes for many national publications.