Words and images: Matt Gleeson
In a shameful admission, I need to submit to the readers of Ragged Press that I have never seen Adelaide four piece, Hightime live before. Keen to remedy this I got myself along to The Old Bar in Fitzroy to check them out. I always feel torn about going to The Old Bar. Sure they have a great unicorn theme going on, and sure they host a great line up of bands time and time again, but those bloody red stage lights are a music photographer’s worst nightmare. Still putting aside my grumbles I made my way to Fitzroy with camera in hand, prepared for what I was told would be a kick ass show, put together by promoters Yeah Nahhh.
First band on the bill was three piece indie outfit, Face Face, offering up grungy 90’s inspired indie pop rock. Jangly melodic noise underpinned the very Sleater Kinney-esque (yeah I know I just invented a word) vocals of guitarist/vocalist Lauren. If you want your ears blown back by some aggressive punk rawk, this is probably not the band for you, but I have to say that these guys looked like they were having fun and put plenty of smiles on the faces of the audience, which is not always an easy task for an opening band.
The Burning Roaches
Following on from Face Face were another Melbourne three piece, The Burning Roaches. This band made me want to grow my hair long, wear a flannie and smoke copious amounts of weed (which is probably the whole point). The Burning Roaches garage sound shines through (think Tumbleweed with just a touch of 90’s Seattle grunge). This is not the kind of the band you crowd surf too, instead sway along with a little satisfied smirk on your face as these guys do their thing.
The five piece, Self Talk crowded out the small stage of The Old Bar next. The best way I can describe Self Talk is that if I was Hollywood movie director of a teen movie that had a prom scene then this is the band I’d choose to give it a little bit of edge while retaining enough pop sensibilities to avoid offending the sensibilities of the masses. Self Talk are fun pop punk, perfect for those Sunday mornings when the sun is streaming through your bedroom window.
How to describe Foley!… Well the best way I can put it is… fun times wrapped in tunes of the suburbs, seasoned with sing alongs and love songs, and garnished with big smiles and lots of jumping around. This Melbourne trio are a joy to watch play and the rest of the audience definitely agreed. It’s hard to think of another band that appears to be having so much fun on stage.
Hightime offered up a set that blew the roof off, mixing up gypsy, reggae and straight up punk influences that provided something for everyone. The crowd went off for these guys. The only sour note is that the South Australian’s won’t be playing Melbourne again for a bit, as guitarist Reuben jets off into the wild blue yonder for a while.
I commenced this night’s adventure admitting a little sense of shame at not having seen Hightime live before, and I have to admit that a walk of shame has never felt so good.