split feed

MVRKS Hold Hands with Split Feed @ the Lass O’Gowrie Hotel 12th May

It’s always a bit of a frantic scenario when you’ve got to down that nice, warm, metaphysical glass of sav blanc from the box to then pop over to the Lass O’Gowrie Hotel who are hosting the “Meat Raffle at the Bowlo” tour. I don’t care too much about a meat raffle, but Split Feed do and they’re in it to win it. Buddied with Sydney band, MVRKS (Mavericks) travel to help their chances of winning the voluptuous tray of meat.

My body is convulsing from this “wine” but PALS have a 8pm start and it’s 8:15, no goon-gut can stop my attendance. Luckily, the venue is running late so I slide on in. PALS’ presence on the stage is amplified through their instruments.  The lead vocalist, Connor Kelly, is covered in glitter.  I’m loving the juxtaposition of glitter and punk as his distinctive grungy punk roar echoes through the venue.  A unison of melancholic moans bleed into what we’ve been waiting for all set, their cover of Aneurysm by Nirvana. Their intense energy is clearly a second nature to these guys.

MVRKS now rearrange the tiny stage in a Feng Shui flow to fit this five man band. Their new single Ignorance is perfectly supported from each instrument with hints of Mac Demarco and Tame Impala peaking through. The synthesizer and the bass reflect the influence from the artist, the smooth indie rock is a tonic to my troubled tummy. The vocals wrap around my body like a vine and immerse me into the thick psychedelic sounds of rock pop.

I stand at the bar, aiming for a good spot before dave begins. Just as a church bell heralds the second coming, the warming of the cymbals are conjuring the spirits of rock from the Lass. The crowds are pouring in harder than the drinks at the bar. The opening song summoned most to enter the realm of dave with punters pushing, jumping and crashing to be there. The Newcastle locals are professional welders, the four piece fuse their instruments to produce satisfying intense old-school rock. The high voltage from the drums in Sunny Days foresee visions of a broken nose. The punters are mimicking the sounds and interpreting them into violent death circles, smashing their heads as if they were detached. Sex Me fires a cannon ball to my unhinged head resonating a nostalgic sense of 90s American rock. The crowd embraces unity through the cover of Pixies’ Where is My Mind. The riff opens up our hearts as the rippling guitars merge together with the thunderous and infectious beat of the drum.

Split Feed takes a hold of the stage. The Newcastle legends have enticed a wide range of people here tonight, this may be the only reason we will ever interact, and I’m hoping so too. The band’s new single Lucky People has the room split in half. One half discovering the band, the other defending their turf. The sound packs a vibrant and heavy punch, as well as channeling passion and fierceness. Like a tango with Satan, it is hot and it is sweaty, but it is exciting and dangerous. Split Feed have the ability to kick us in all the right places and still be part of the music, something I think that a lot of bands find it hard to conquer.

After the last set, I am still in the mind set of being a reckless punter and in turn, refused anymore drinks. A good end to the night because who knows how different this review might be if I had just one more drink.

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