Live Review: Bully, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Flowertruck

11 December 2015 | 2:46 pm | Daniel Comensoli

"Bully are nothing if not consistent, churning through a suite of mid-level great tunes, with the punters all over it."

Flowertruck open with Sunshower, lead single from the Dirt EP. It's a great opener for a night spanning the field of guitar-rock. A new tune was up a next, a bit of focus and a bit of drama. Flowertruck are at the forefront of the young blood guitar bands this country, and city, are producing, turning out tunes like I Wanna Be With You that lean on some serious hooks and classic '80s jangle.

There was a lot of love in the room, and even those who came in a little soaked were hugging between songs. Flowertruck are bloody charming, though, from the stories about made-up Japanese words, to roofs falling in on Falling Away. They're only going to rise from here.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever came on with four guitars — a mixing challenge — but from their opener, the Melbourne boys were tearing it up. The set was littered with drivey, heart-on-sleeve Australiana, something akin to what The War On Drugs were able to capture on Lost In The Dream. Which is to say, something that really shines live. Angeline translates beautifully live, as does Tender Is The Neck — two slower tunes that show some diversity. Blackouts are supporting up the east coast, and they lay it on in Sydney. They're just a solid rock band, dynamic and warm, and more than worth it to catch live.

Bully open with I Remember, a wild, brilliant start, then slide straight into Too Tough and Brainfreeze. Frontwoman Alicia Bognanno's wails slay over the fuzz from the first. Stewart Copeland and Reece Lazarus hold it down all night, locking in together. Trash is abrasive, lit from the back in the chorus, and Six follows, faster and even heavier on stage. Bognanno is something else, channelling '80s and '90s dissatisfaction and howling over the top. Like all of this year's Feels Like, Bully are nothing if not consistent, churning through a suite of mid-level great tunes, with the punters all over it. But new classic Trying really shows off all their chops of live: from a memorable lead line, Copeland's switch to toms before the final chorus, to Bognanno's defiant "Why am I?"'s in the end, it kills live. Bognanno smiles all through it as the crowd screams it back at her, like they would to all her heroes.

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