11 April 2012 | 10:57 am | Staff Writer

This isn’t just a rock band getting up and doing their thing, Sheriff announce themselves as a complete show: a rock’n’roll spectacle

There are few acts that leave you walking away in a daze, unable to utter anything except, “Wow”. Yet local rockers Sheriff – possibly vacuuming every iota of energy in Melbourne city – rage onto the stage and well and truly begin to melt the faces off the rampant crowd.

You'd be hard pressed to find a better triple bill. The Jackals kick things off with swamp blues and country grit, followed up by local wonders Sun God Replica. This band can do no wrong. Playing tunes from their new album Primitive Clockwork, they fire off a cacophony of explosive rock, kindly leaving behind a tangible excitement for the Sheriff lovers.

Introduced by a screaming cloaked man and horns reminiscent of an AFL Grand Final, we are instantly part of a performance. This isn't just a rock band getting up and doing their thing, Sheriff announce themselves as a complete show: a rock'n'roll spectacle. Can they pull it off? You bet. Guitarist Tom Watson immediately loses his shit, charging up onto the bar railing and swinging from the roof as he plays. The crowd can't help but respond, people climbing the walls to get a better look. Powerhouse bassist Jimi Coelli roars into the mic, howling on What You Want, before introducing new drummer Callum Routledge to the crowd. Routledge is in his element, accomplishing the balance of hard-hitting gusto with refined skill.

“Do we have a treat for you tonight?!” screams Coelli, looking to Watson. Suddenly a two-piece horn section appears, borrowed from none other than the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Their harmonies are now even and the boys take the show to another level: Watson is on his knees and a member of the crowd pours beer into his mouth; Routledge closes his eyes and knows he is home; while Coelli makes a gun with his fingers, smiling as he blows imaginary smoke. They have us and they know it.

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For want of a better metaphor, Sheriff are like the difference between a meaty stew and a thin broth. Endearing and full of heart, they will leave you with the utmost sense of satisfaction. Unafraid to challenge the stereotype, they have created something monstrous, challenging you to ever lose interest, or even try to look away. They'll find you. They are Sheriff after all.