Live Review: Palms, Babaganouj, Jody

21 March 2016 | 11:27 am | Xavier Rubetzki Noonan

"Palms celebrated the launch of their second album with the kind of party Mike Baird probably has nightmares about."

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Palms celebrated the launch of their second album with the kind of party Mike Baird probably has nightmares about. Jody, a well balanced band from Sydney, were up first, mixing a tight, jangly rhythm section with fuzzy lead. The young band showed plenty of reverence and energy, but didn't quite win over the room. Passing lead vocal duty around meant the crowd got an unfocused snapshot of the band, but there were glimpses of real rock'n'roll glory, too. A new track was right out of The Strokes' playbook, with loads of jumpy energy, and in another's massive chorus, frontman Dom O'Connor was like a pint-sized Jeff Rosenstock.

Up next, a hit-packed set from Brisbane's Babaganouj got bodies moving. Striking a good balance between the band's strong back catalogue and a handful of new tunes (which showed off the extremely strong songwriting skills at the band's core), the band demanded attention and got it quickly. Do Rite With Me Tonite might've been the most fun, with Harriette Pilbeam's sticky-sweet lead vocal standing out against a dense, propulsive backing. Charles Sale's dynamic lead guitar occasionally seemed in danger of overshadowing the band (and swallowing the whole world up with it), but was artfully deployed, adding a huge amount of colour and texture throughout (and besides, there are worse ways to go.)

Ready to ramp up the energy even more, Palms took to the stage and tore into a set that galvanised them as one of Sydney's premier rock bands. Fresh from the release of their second LP, the band have an enviable collection of high energy, catchy-as-hell songs, which, when played back-to-back, can't help but whip the crowd up into a frenzy. Only two songs in, the punters were getting rowdy — bouncing off frontman Al Grigg's cheeky stage persona, no doubt — and were equally happy to thrash around to the new songs as the older ones.

The extreme contrast and build of tunes like In My Mind and This Last Year make their fist-pumping choruses all the sweeter, and both had a staggering number of people stage-diving and jumping around like idiots. The crowd roared for an encore, but Grigg, having managed to break strings on at least two people's guitars throughout the set, was forced to admit they'd already ripped through every song they knew.

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