Wawards Bank Hotel, Sydney NSW
November 9th 2017
Supports: Blue Velvet & Undercast
Stand Atlantic have had quite the year. From being signed to Rude Records, releasing their new ep, touring nationally with New Found Glory and the recent announcement of a UK visit with ROAM, it’s clear to see the Sydney natives are gaining quite a lot of traction.After this show it’s not hard to see why.
Based on everyone I asked it seemed no one had heard of this venue which immediately gave the gig a sense of excitement. Waywards is a hole in the wall venue, hidden on top of a Newtown bar and made up of such narrow pathways that it makes a room of fifty feel like a hundred.Surprisingly it held up well. As everyone filed in there seemed to be a shared moment of exploration; from the vintage diner booths to the pinball machines to the giant neon guitar, there was certainly a lot to look at.
The vibe of the night was rather wholesome; 90% of the crowd knew each other in some capacity, as is the nature of being a fan of local bands; it’s quite easy to see them frequently because tickets are cheap and eventually it’s a bunch of the same people going and you naturally make friends.
That wholesome vibe worked rather well for opener Blue Velvet, who despite being the lesser known entity, did surprisingly well. With an almost Dune Rats sound, the boys made for a great warm up and were really well received by the crowd as they played through their debut ep Collide. Their creative cover of Grease’s You’re The One That I Want was a particular favourite, pricking the ears of the few crowd members who weren’t previously pay much attention to the band. The stellar set in combination with a sprinkle of awkward banter made Blue Velvet definitely a band I’d recommend you check out if you’re looking for a new local act to get behind.
Next up came Undercast; if you’re a Stand Atlantic fan it’s ridiculously unlikely you haven’t at least heard of these guys. Despite opening with a yet to be released track, the crowd still ate it up. With a swift combination of classic bangers from their 2016 ep Temperamental like Pressure, Prospect and (personal favorite) Hold Tight, an energy that could easily translate into much bigger venues and the witty back and forth of a seasoned band; It’s clear to see these boys are hitting their stride. Also notably new member Aiden Turner, fit so naturally into the lineup that you wouldn’t think it was his first gig as an official member. Finishing off with fan-favorite Temperamental, Undercast left a sweaty crowd with a promise of new music coming out in the very near future. Needless to say we’ll all be keeping our ears peeled.
Then came the main event; Stand Atlantic have always put on quite the show, but the moment Sidewinder was released earlier this year, it became very clear they were about to step up their live game and boy did they deliver. Hitting the ground running with new track Push, you bet the crowd dramatically sang back every word. The powerhouse vocals of frontwoman Bonnie Fraser setting an incredibly high standard for the night to come.
The immediately identifiable guitars of Tonight We Stay ring out and every og fan in the room gets a pleasant surprise that they’re playing an old favourite. Personally after seeing them quite a few times over the years it’s always interesting to hear the growth and change that track has gone through as the band themselves improve; the only thing remaining being the gloriously energetic response from the crowd.
We then delved into another duo of certified bangers from the new ep. Mess I Made (A true sing in the shower jam) and Sidewinder, which was prefaced with Fraser mentioning the correlation with Potatoes … I’ll let you think of all the starch based puns one could make from that. Needless to say at this point the sweat level was high and the crowds throats were slowly disappearing as they attempt to match the ridiculously high notes that Fraser impossibly hits consistently. They followed on with a cover of the Foo Fighters Best Of You prefaced with an apology the EP was so short and a promise that they’d fuck the cover up in some way shape or form. Regardless everyone did their best Dave Grohl impression and had a solid jam.
Next up was another new banger Chemicals which had a bit of a false start but they bantered their way out of it with an unsuccessful attempt to get drummer Jonno Panichi to do a shoey.
It’s at this point the vibe transcended. I don’t think the band expected such a response from an old song but Wasteland was treated with the welcome one might give an old friend. Like most of their debut ep A Place Apart, it’s virtually impossible to find the track online anywhere, so the fact almost the entire crowd knew every word gives you a real idea of the longevity of the band.
Needless to say the bangers continued as they rounded out the set with pop-punk classic in the making, Coffee At Midnight. Talk about ending with a bang. Fraser also invited up a fan, who’d previously done a cover of the song, to play guitar which was a rather wholesome gesture to top things off. The last of everyone’s energy was used up screaming back every word and dancing the crap out of the phenomenal banger.
Everything about the set hit the mark; The stacked line-up, The pure joy on every band member’s face, the enthusiasm from the crowd and the general vibe had everyone grinning from ear to ear as they left that little hole in the wall that night, knowing they’d just experienced a the secret gems of the sydney music scene. I look forward to following these guys as they inevitably blow up in the next few years.
Please credit Wall of Sound and Bree Vane if you repost