Live Review: Wavves, The Babe Rainbow, Bloods

3 January 2016 | 3:07 pm | Hannah Story

"It's short, fast, loud and cathartic."

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The first Saturday after New Years' is slow: Sydney's streets move sluggishly, people are either coming down or kicking on, Oxford Street won't really light after until much later in the evening. But there is some movement: an impatient line outside Oxford Art Gallery gathering for Wavves' Falls Festival sideshow.

The crowd is warmed up by local three-piece Bloods' easy garage-pop. They're a lot of fun to watch, the band led by the shared, harmonising vocals of Sweetie Zamora and Marihuzka Cornelius (and Cornelius can wail), which give the songs more of a sense of variety. Get pumped for new songs featuring a new guitarist, the two guitar lines creating a sense of texture and density.

Byron Bay's The Babe Rainbow follow with their '70s revival, complete with '70s high-waisted flare jeans and corduroy. They released their debut EP mid last year but have already been picking up some high profile support slots and gallivanting around Europe, so expect these three blondes to come out with a really interesting debut next year. The first cut is Aloe Vera, a bit funky thanks to its bass line. Definite set highlight: a cover of The Seeds Pushin' Too Hard.

Then it's time for Wavves, Nathan Williams' prolific surf-rock project: "Wassup?" He's joined by reg bandmates Alex Gates, Stephen Pope and Brian Hill, to give Sydney its first taste of 2015's V. Songs from the record get the most love, but there are many in the crowd who still look the part of 2010's King Of The Beach.

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It's a rollickin' set, driven by the colossal drumming of Hill. They've got a lot of polish now after five full-length records, yet now-30-year-old Williams retains the carefree stoner aesthetic that first drove their appeal and plays his guitar with manic energy, easily matched by the thrashing crowd below. They open with Sail To The Sun off 2013's Afraid Of Heights, which sets off the mosh, following it up with King Of The Beach's Idiot.

It's short, fast, loud and cathartic in parts as the crowd shouts back Linus Spacehead and Beat Me Up, which brings out the first crowdsurfer and the first stage-diver of the night (but one of many). All The Same, No Life For Me, Paranoid, Afraid Of Heights, Post Acid, Way Too Much, Pony, Heavy Metal Detox and Bug all get a run, running the gamut of Wavves' collaborative and individual releases since 2010.

To close the set we get the big three, and more stage-dives than ever: King Of The Beach, Demon To Lean On and Green Eyes, complete with extended breakdown and Williams playing from the floor. Lights up. No encore.