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Live Review: Black Lips, Straight Arrows, Destiny 3000

9 January 2015 | 10:52 am | Jack Lynch

Black Lips might have been a little out tune in Sydney but their musical debauchery trumped everything.

Sounding nothing like Destiny’s Child or Andre 3000, all-girl quintet Destiny 3000 kicked off the evening with an intriguing set of slacker-psych.

If Twerps and My Bloody Valentine had five daughters, they would make music like this Sydney outfit. Although a little dissonant, there is certainly promise for their cutting, yet unobtrusive bass tones and grungy guitar rhythms.

After supporting the Black Lips during their 2012 tour, Straight Arrows justified their repeat call-up with clean revivalist Australian punk rock. Launching into tracks from a growing catalogue (having released a second LP Rising in 2014), the band delivered a spirited performance full of commitment and passion. Their final song Make Up Your Mind was clearly a favourite amongst the building and increasingly excitable crowd.

It became clear early that fans of the Black Lips wanted a piece of their infamously raucous live performance. Despite the early sound troubles (which no one seemed to notice), people were jumping and rhythmically pushing their way through the masses. Early signs were that the gig was going to be loud, hot, sweaty, and exhaustingly brilliant.

Playing ‘dickhead-welcoming’ favourites, Family Tree and Modern Art in succession allowed everyone to behave in a way that is rendered unsociable in almost any other forum. Drinks were skulled, empty cans were thrown, the crowd surfed, and the stage was invaded to the delight of friends and to the surprisingly visible disdain from the band (singer/bassist Jared Swilley hip-and-shouldered one over enthusiastic, unwanted back-up singer off the stage).

Further antics were displayed mid-set during Katrina when guitarist Jack Hines jumped off stage into the throngs of an adoring mosh pit. He was safely guided back to stage but his now-broken guitar needed to be replaced.

During the 70-minute show, the Black Lips had little-to-no downtime. Between songs, they sporadically played a kaleidoscope of electronic sounds and clips which confused many and ensured they engaged in as little banter as possible. Disappointing, but forgivable considering the energy required to create such an intensely rowdy atmosphere.

From the structurally superior Funny to the impassable favourite Bad Kids, the Black Lips put on a show that was worthy of their professionally careless reputation. They missed intros to songs, were a little out of tune, and were inconsistent with tempo but no one complained -- nor should they as the Black Lips gave those in attendance a chance to forget the rules and enjoy the musical debauchery.