The Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW
July 28th, 2018
Supports: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
Less than seven months since their last leg around Australia, the spectacular English alternative rock unit, Nothing But Thieves, returned last night to remind Sydney that there’s still some fire left in that scene. With a perfectly balanced set to sell their whole discography, and an insane musicianship that outdid any need for any light show antics, it’s no surprise they took the stage to a sold out crowd.
It was striking to me just what an odd show this might turn out to be on arrival, as it wasn’t until I caught sight of the entry line that I realised I had no idea what demographic fanbase that this band had acquired over their career. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the shows that are 80% youngins, and the other 20% a bunch of 40 year old Dads who would really rather be anywhere else, but accidentally promised like two months ago to be the deso for the night. The interesting thing about this scene was that there were kids, teens, and adults of all ages that all seemed genuinely excited to be there. I’m not sure I could even give you an age range that was necessarily more or less prominent than another – what an intriguing audience! It was really cool to see this sort of non-convoluted diversity.
Anyway, things got weirder when the first support got on stage. Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are a psychedelic grunge/rock band hailing from Perth – a bunch of boys with hair longer than their six-track set. They put on a good show. They were tight, delivered some truly juicy riffs, and somehow sounded exactly how you’d expect a band called “Psychedelic Porn Crumpets” to sound. They had the nerve to admit they’d never heard of the headliner before, and seemed to win a bunch of fans over nonetheless.
The Nothing But Thieves boys came hitting hard right away with their opener, ‘I Was Just A Kid’, and it was immediately clear to everyone in the venue that they were as immovably solid as they have ever been. These guys are one of those acts that not only live up to their studio sound, but transcend it in all the best ways. Singer and rhythm guitarist, Connor Mason, has such a voice on him that you would not believe possible from a mullet-rocking-ranga such as himself. There are even a few moments where it seems like an impossible performance, to factor that power and breath control, but he makes it work and it truly was a mesmerizing performance to have seen.
There wasn’t a lot of room for banter. Instead they presented a driving force, creating a seamless and fast paced show. The boys pushed on with some more fan favorites, including ‘Soda’, ‘Broken Machine’, and ‘I’m Not Made By Design’. There was some great crowd interaction on those tracks specifically; Mason’s infectious melodies yielding a number of singalong sections, which transitioned perfectly into the absolute banger, ‘Live Like Animals’ where everyone got off their feet.
The night continued with a solid divide of tracks off both their albums, and they closed their two track encore with the very much anticipated hit, ‘Amsterdam’, which was undeniably the one everyone had been waiting for. The really nice thing to see about these guys was that they seemed so genuinely thrilled to be across the other side of the world playing their music. It was unmistakable that they were exactly where they wanted to be – very much in their element, and it really gives me hope for the alternative rock scene. With an insanely diverse audience, and one of the best live acts I’ve seen in a long time, the night turned out to be a huge hit. Hats off to Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, and the Nothing But Thieves boys.
Gig Review by Miles Knox
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
Nothing But Thieves