Live Review: Sticky Fingers, Bootleg Rascal

9 December 2015 | 1:44 pm | Ashley Westwood

"This was probably the best and most polished performance from StiFi to date but it was tainted by the poor production of the show."

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Sticky Fingers played to a sold out Astor Theatre on Monday, using their mystical chillout powers to draw every sonically inclined gen-y to their presence, even on a school night. Kicking off with their Sydney dub-rock brothers, Bootleg Rascal, the gig was a trip back to their oldskool roots after a huge year of international tours. With an intimate venue and a vast collection of passionate disciples vibing off the chilled atmosphere and cheap drinks.

Bootleg Rascal provided a stellar set of groovy melodies to warm up the 1000-strong crowd. Some highlights from the fellow NSW newcomers were songs Psychotica, Overflow and one of their latest singles, Asleep In The Machine. It was a charming performance of summer tunes that gelled well with the crowd as the auditorium continued to rapidly fill. Bootleg will be ones to watch for 2016.  

After a brief intermission Sticky Fingers swaggered out and launched straight into Land of Pleasure followed swiftly by favourites like Gold Snafu and Liquorlip Loaded Gun. The mood was great, everyone getting down to some well-honed music from one of the best bands around. A few songs in, the lead guitarist from Bootleg, Jimmy Young, came back out to lend the Sticky boys a hand in performing a track from their 2013 album, Caress Your Soul - an aptly named track, Bootleg Rascal. By this point the crowd was electric, writhing and chanting along as the band bounced about on stage, completely in their element.

Jimmy stuck around for a couple more tracks, occasionally battling with StiFi's lead guitarist and showing how genuinely talented both groups are in their own right. After Jimmy's departure, frontman Dylan Frost laid down his guitar, took a slug of bourbon and jumped into some vocal-heavy tracks. Songs like Just For You and Lazerhead, both from their latest album, Land Of Pleasure were just as happily lapped up by the crowd as their older material was earlier in the night.

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As the show progressed into its final stages a few issues arose, as the whole set became quieter and quieter. It's not often you stand ten people back from the stage and struggle to hear anything other than the crowd singing along. It simply wasn't loud enough - a few songs were borderline inaudible - something that isn't acceptable from a venue as renowned as The Astor. Coupled with some lighting fuck-ups throughout the set it might just have been a blip of poor production for the night, but the poor sound level and quality will certainly have put dampers on the experience for many. Still, the lads pushed on, and a crowd favourite, Australia Street was one of the last tracks to be played before they exited to a sea of cheers and applause.

As Stickies came back out to a blistering encore of Freddy Crabs and If You Go, the volume appeared to perk up a bit and everyone left satisfied, but the night could have been better. This was probably the best and most polished performance from StiFi to date but it was tainted by the poor production of the show.