The Medics @ The Hi-Fi, 11th November

I saw The Medics at Big Day Out 2012, it was my first Big Day Out and they were the first band I saw, their stage presence captivated me for the entire set and they soon became one of my favourite bands.  Since then, I have seen them three times and each time they always put on a killer set. Tonight, a dreary Tuesday, The Medics are hosting a free gig at The Hi-Fi during the G20 Cultural Celebrations.

The Medics take to the stage, but instead of four, the stage is packed with nine musicians, most rocking shirts in support of Aboriginal rights.  Starting off with old favourites from their 2012 album, Foundations, the band starts their set with a contagious influx of energy.  As the breathy vocals of frontman, Kahl Wallace, open Rust (one of my favourite tracks off their album), the crowd cheer. The crowd sway and turn to the drum beat as drummer, Jhindu Lawrie, swings his luscious locks back and forth.  The other percussionists on stage add an extra layer of depth to their already mammoth sound.

The Medics take some time to showcase new material; though unfamiliar to the audience, their new songs keep the crowd grooving and glued to the stage.  The adopted band members leave the stage, returning the status quo to the original four.  Their new material is heavy and intricate, while still keeping the same old reverbed Medics sound; a political theme ties each new song together.  The ferocious sound is complimented by the equally ferocious political lyrics that Wallace spits into the mic.

Between songs some friendly banter is crossed between the band members about the G20 (definitely not in support). It’s clear that their political ideologies are not just in their songs.

Closing their set is another personal favourite of mine, Joseph;  lasting almost 10 minutes, The Medics blast their sound through the room, from the deep drum rolls to the reverbed guitar and shouting vocals.  Lawrie leaps from behind the kit into the audience, screaming at the top of his voice as he manoeuvres through the crowd; both a frightening and exhilarating experience.

After Joseph, we believe the gig is over – that’s how The Medics gigs usually go – instead we are treated to some very powerful poetry from a local Aboriginal poet whose ideas and rhymes stir something in the crowd.  They cheer, clap and even bang the gate in front of the stage in support.

Returning to the stage Wallace and Lawrie are accompanied by a violinist before Lawrie picks up the guitar and takes the reins. Backed by Wallace, the song is soft and tender, a contrast against their fierce political rock, something that The Medics could definitely tap into.

As far as free shows go, The Medics provide a stellar evening, one worthy of a price tag.

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