Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram

Live Review: Apes, Von Villians, Midnight Antics

21 July 2013 | 7:46 pm | Samantha Armatys

A sea of beaming heads spills out into the night, riding the high through ‘til Monday.

More Apes More Apes

A smattering of eager punters mill around The Loft's interior, almost like friends settling into a living room for an intimate gathering. The décor, reminiscent of a French chalet, provides a contrasting backdrop for tonight's bill of youthful rock. Instruments are stacked at the front of the room with no stage in sight, exemplifying the casual atmosphere. The Midnight Antics take advantage of this and launch into a set bordering on an impromptu jam session. The Voice contestant Chris Sheehy is called in as a last-minute replacement for frontman Jarryd O Brien. Sheehy shares one of his own tracks with lyrics about smoking bongs and eating pies. It's a little bit brash but softened by some quality guitar playing and catchy hooks. A reggae rap version of original, Penny Lane – not to be confused with The Beatles' track of the same name – teeters on musical comedy, but the crowd seems appropriately amused. Albeit messy, it's a fun start to the night. 

By the time Byron Bay's Von Villains open, the room is packed with good spirited and inebriated onlookers. With a sound reminiscent of early Kings Of Leon or The Strokes, the crowd eagerly shows their appreciation with all four limbs. Mounds of bodies flail dangerously like palms in a hurricane. Tracks Whisper and Dead Of Night encapsulate the four-piece's melodic rock vigour and vocalist Jack Field is a standout with his hoarse coo.

Rocketing through their Helluva EP tour, Apes promise an ear-splitting, in-your-face performance. Right from the opening chords of Napalm it's clear these guys are not just another twenty-something rock revival outfit. Tracks Murder, Seven and Cheatin are loud, fast and exuberant. When lead singer/guitarist Benjamin Dowdshouts, “let's get naked” down the mic, he can't anticipate the results. A bearded wide-eyed hipster saunters between the guitarists and is completely nude before the second verse starts. The guileless stranger salvages some dignity by tucking his package tightly between his legs like a shaggy Ken doll and writhes in time to the music. Bodies thrash into furniture and it is a true testament to The Loft's reputation as one of the great music venues for letting the scene play out to completion. The band power through single, Helluva Time, like it's just another day in the office. With the sound of Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club and the spunk of The Black Lips, these guys might just be Australia's next big export. 

As the night comes to a close, those present have a strong sense that they have just experienced rock'n'roll in its purest form. A sea of beaming heads spills out into the night, riding the high through 'til Monday. 

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter