Max Watts, Melbourne (Naarm), Vic
November 17th, 2023
Supports: Ocean Sleeper, Red Bee
Man, what a treat tonight is. It’s one of those ‘moment in time’ nights – it’s not a band doing the next show on a garden-variety tour for its latest album, it’s the celebration of two decades of genius, an event that will never happen again. 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of this humble scribe’s all-time favourite Aussie metal album, the dearly and universally (at least in this country) loved Between Birth and Death, and perpetrators Sunk Loto are currently on the road, playing the album in its entirety to enraptured audiences around the nation.
However, we have two support slots to experience first, and the headliners have chosen the undercard very nicely indeed. Red Bee, from the Blue Mountains region of NSW, have been around for a long time, but remains an underrated and underappreciated gem. Whether that’s because they are highly uncompromising in their approach to their songwriting and the presentation of their live set, they are difficult to pigeonhole, or some other reason, is hard to tell. But ultimately, they don’t seem to care, preferring to simply get on with creating their heavy but idiosyncratic tunes and putting on their raucous and rampaging live show with minimal fuss.
Tonight this quirky three-piece grasp this excellent opportunity in their collective six hands. After singer/guitarist Daniel Silk asks us for permission to rip our balls off, the band rips into a blistering 35-minute opening set, a set that takes the steadily growing crowd on a journey into rawness and realness, with plenty of twists and turns along the way. Drawing on material as far back as well over a decade ago, to a brand new, as yet unreleased tune (which is a real stomper), this band’s music is sometimes straight ahead, sometimes twisted, rhythmically, sometimes melodic and often dissonant, but these contrasts and dynamics add up to a cohesive and powerful whole. On top of all this, their live show is simply shitloads of fun.
Red Bee are there for your listening pleasure, folks, check them out if you haven’t already, online and and at a venue near you soon.