UTS has got much going for it as the new university venue. It’s spacious, easy to get to and has a type of varsity charm that bestows intimacy. The variety that was brought out to play alongside Bluejuice is extraordinary.
It is a double-edged sword, this type of booking. It means that all these bands can attach “supporting Bluejuice” to their resumes. However, the high amount of acts meant that few got to enjoy the mixture of talent on offer. It looks on the surface like good value for the night, but is difficult to sample all of these delicious offerings.
A stand out for the early supports was Melbourne band, Private Life. Their punky, electronically stained rock music was structured lovingly and excitingly.
Lead singer Renee Cassar possesses a voice that struggles magnificently. It has this climbing effect, a light voice tearing against witty new wave styling. The stand out track was the foot tapping number ‘One More Time’, which had a funky bassline and pleading vocal melody.
Sydney’s Preatures (formerly the Preachers) have pretty much the entire package. The grizzly battle between vocalists Gideon Benson and Isabella Manfredi has a captivating brilliance.
The world they paint has all the hallmarks of a gloomy, bluesy landscape matched by the contrast of Manfredi’s Svengali progression from tender chanteuse to rock goddess, and the wolfish wails of Benson. Their live set is a bubbling sauce pot of strong songwriting, compelling stage presence and their mysteriously primal musicality. They are a pleasure to behold live.
Hungry Kids of Hungary stood in contrast to the rainy weather outside, they performed as if it was Splendour in the Grass (as the Coronas were being handed out).
They have the formula for easy, uplifting indie performance down pat. They were engaging performers but much of the set lacked a clear dynamic journey, which made the experience not particularly memorable. Their fans were probably pleased by the night, but newcomers would probably have been satisfied, but not blown away.
Bluejuice appeared wrapped in glow-in-the-dark tape that accentuated their cheeky, blindingly exciting performance. Theirs is a very addictive concoction of joy, down-to-earth attitude and reckless abandon coupled with their funky riffs, laid back raps and hooky lyrics.
Their set was a ‘best of’ performance, including old favourites such as ‘Vitriol’ and ‘(Ain’t) Telling The Truth’ alongside the brilliant euphoria of ‘Act Yr Age’.
Vocalists Jake Stone and Stavros Yiannoukas both brought the highest level of energy and kept it going for the entire night. Stone even stage dived through the third song, and flung his microphone cable like a lasso.
Bluejuice’s energy and willingness to have fun will cement them forever as lasting Australian icons.
- Patrick Weyland-Smith