The Bennies @ the Small Ballroom
After an end to a terrifyingly boring weekend, Newcastle has been blessed with the company of the Bennies. The wicked wind follows us hauntingly into the streets of Pokemon Go players. It must be a funny sight watching someone trying to balance a roadie while fiercely strutting with ambition. I look around and see that I’m not the only one panicking against the almighty wind power. This wind was torturing and testing our dedication. But Raave Tapes is on at 8, and I’m thirsty.
Raave Tapes finally return to their turf in Newcastle after their massive tour. The boys make to the stage, kiss the ground and claim that they’ve missed Newy’s “blue tins”. The band lunges with atomic urgency to kick start the night. And just like that, the bare floor transcends into a mine of half smoked cigarettes. Smoggy cigarettes are tucked safely behind the ears, I guess that’s one way to stop smoking. The thick bass and fuzz pedals orbit an inescapable wave of movement throughout the venue. The psychedelic guitar swirls of Death In Ya Face and fast tempo have hearts pulsating. The punchy rhythm touch the limbs of the audience as they mimic the dance style of the lead vocalist, Joab Eastly.
I move from the bar to the floor where I nurse my new born beer. Protective and fierce, I walk through the herd without a drop leaving the cot. The next band emerge from the fog and onto the stage. Axe Girl instantly grab a hold the distant mummers and efface those insignificant conversations into an obsolete expression. A commanding rawr expands from the lead vocals and into the physical bodies. Explosive guitar chords follow. The tickling of the bass lines tweedle me. I’m finding myself in the transitional midst of divorce from my overpriced precious cargo. Before any decisions, a fallen angel knocks it anyway. A serendipitous move as I slide on to the very front. The air becomes dense, a raw lust after Axe Girl perform.
Next up to the stage is Clowns. Clowns can be either humorous or miserable. These ones were furiously crazy. The energy pumps through heavy bodies, clashing and thumping. A death pit arises. I fear for my life. The rock’n’roll is inescapable. I’m already in the depths of despair. A deluge of tones encompass my body directly from the guitars. The vocals are strong and robust, almost hypnotic. Bodies are flying above me as the hastening drumbeat ruptures our spleens. The songs are filled with pure melodic punk, heavily filtered through the dripping echoes of hard-core head bang’n rock.
An outstanding amount are left in the smoker’s area. The line at the bar has shrunk to less than ten. A vibrating sensation surfaces the venue. Whistles and wailing and human waves whelm into the realm of the Bennies. The thick psychedelic tones are balanced with heavy layers of reggae from the bass and synth. Bodies lunge into the air, confining in the unison that we’re all here for. People dive onto the stage in hopes of achieving a spot secured with the band. Those dreams are inevitable to be short lived. Detroit Rock Ciggies is a song that yearns for chaos, but allures sweaty and unpleasant group hugs too. Their new single Party Machine invigorates an anthem of hallucinatory ecstasy within; considerably the new national anthem (if the Greens come into power). The band share a joint on stage and give no fucks; they’ve got my vote. The Bennies imprison us with their outrageous Australian party attitude. The effects of which include: my eyes seeing quadruple, blood dripping from the side of skulls, and a sweaty-vomit concoction- a remedy resulting in sticky beer stained floors.
After the night of soaring madness and aching love, I slither and slide outta there. As unflattering and fearful it may seem, I’d do it all again. Maybe I’ll drink water between beers next time.