"Warm, friendly rock loosened up the room like home brew, lyrics with a fond sense of place"
Friday night, Parramatta Road, a warehouse of pretty motorcycle gear, and beer in a can has never tasted so good. If there's a better environment for homegrown rock'n'roll nobody at Deus Ex Machina wants to know about it. All three bands are connected through a web of mates and inner west housemates, and the vibe is homely and happy.
Aegean Sun can make you feel like you're floating on a deckchair somewhere far away if you just close your eyes. They came with feather-like harmonies and bouncing bass lines - psychedelic-disco you can dance to. Odyssey In Blue was a meandering river of dreamy funk, giving Tame Impala a run for his money in the groove stakes, while The Beach That Took My Mind opened with Foals-like staccato guitars before melting into an echoey stoner paradise: "I've been high since last summer/I've been fine since last summer..."
The harmonies continued with Big White and their high energy guitar-pop, from the swagger of Dinosaur City to the pounding drums and frenetic pace of You Know I Love You. The band benefited from not one but three lead singers taking turns, with Nicholas Griffith, Cody Munro Moore and Jack Wotton swapping freely and harmonising with infectious joy, making it feel less like a gig, more like a party.
The celebrations kicked up a notch when headliners Flowertruck took the stage, touring their debut EP. Warm, friendly rock loosened up the room like home brew, lyrics with a fond sense of place - think Glebe and Newtown on Sunshower - injecting a fuzzy feeling of familiarity. Frontman Charles Rushforth lit up the stage, raining charisma like a watering can, projecting like a young Robert Smith, vibrating with enthusiasm. Most of the set was high energy, dancing shoes essential, including the popular I Wanna Be With You.
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"A lot of these songs were written just around the corner," Rushforth told us before launching into another new, slower tale of heartbreak, of being "sick of love". "Don't listen to the message in this one. Since I wrote it I've met a girl who I… wanna spend the rest of my life with." Cue: awwww. It was one of the highlights - the lines "I can't cope with this aerodynamic prevention/Though I float, they leave me sinking" established a melancholy vibe before he repeated the hopeful plea, "Let me float." They finished on a high note with the infectious Bad Dreams and a feeling that this band is in full bloom, with plenty more still to offer.