Live Review: Palms, Unity Floors, The Guppies

17 October 2013 | 5:10 pm | Timothy Scarfe

Let’s just hope this incarnation of the band is around a lot longer.

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Kicking off proceedings at Brighton Up Bar were The Guppies with their infectious brand of garage punk. Lachlan Morris' snarling vocals cut through the small venue, with the choppy guitars and pumping bass lines getting the growing crowd jumping. The triple j endorsed Never Liked Mondays was a clear crowd favourite, and the compact set had all the earmarks of a band waiting to break out.

Next up was Sydney two-piece Unity Floors, playing a strong set of punk tracks that verged closer to the pop end of the spectrum – but not in a bad way. The rising guitar lines gave the songs a decidedly summery feel, with Gus Hunt's distinctive vocals giving the tunes an interesting contrast. While it may have lacked the break-out songs of the previous set, the boys put in a good showing without a single misstep.

Last to the stage were Palms, in something of a resurrection in the Sydney music scene. There probably isn't a music-goer in Sydney who doesn't have a story about their first Red Riders gig, so to see some of the guys back – albeit in a different guise – warms the cockles of your indie heart.

And most probably the best news of the set – the boys are back to top form. The tunes are definitely heavier live than on record; however, Love and Summer Is Done With Us show the guys haven't lost the ability to find a hook. As expected, Al Grigg's vocals were brimming with emotion and sat perfectly over the tightly-wound guitars and driving bass lines, while the slowly rising guitar work had the crowd jumping like 2009 had never left.

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Closer This Last Year gives the most obvious nod to the band's past, with the song creeping along with subtle guitars and an intricate bass line, before the chorus crashes in, and then leaves you hanging – a great closer to a great set. Let's just hope this incarnation of the band is around a lot longer.