Gig Review- Topnovil & More @ The Phoenix, A.C.T – 5/11/2016

On The Road Again

I woke on the Saturday with a heavy head from the night before. The Culture Industry kicked off their Fake #AF Tour at Pyrate Punx House in Sydney. Despite the state I was in, me and my friends were still determined to leave ours, and make tracks toward the nation’s capital. Knowing we had no money, we had to gambled on the fact that people would buy our band shirts to get us entry fee and petrol home. It worked… somehow. We weren’t even on the bill that night.

Unfortunately we arrived a tad late so I ended up missing ‘Cow- Tongued’ the local openers. Sorry guys.


Greenbricks (Acoustic)

Greenbricks are traditionally a really cool, punchy, pop punk band who are doing all the right things to rise through the ranks of the somewhat diminished Canberra punk scene. On this occasion however the guitarists banged out an acoustic set on the ‘Ye Olde Grandpa Guitars’ and with all jokes aside, blew it away. Sharing vocals and guitar solos, they provided a very balanced push and pull feel and ‘The Phoenix’ responded accordingly. If you’re a fan of the Taking Back Sunday and Blink 182 sounds, then GreenBricks are your boys.


NeedleDick…  Wow. If bands had slogans, theirs would be: NeedleDick… Not just a great name. Seriously, I was thoroughly entertained. Before the band had even started they had already caught my curiosity through such a vast disparity between band members. Never had seeing these guys before, I was excited to see what sounds this mixed bag of lollies would produce. I was not disappointed.

Their set started smooth and groovy but progressively got heavier as they played on…. If ‘Deep Purple’ had a baby with ‘Nirvana’ and ‘Australian Kingswood Factory’ had a baby with ‘Midnight Oil’ then somehow those two babies met up and fucked… You would get NeedleDick.


The only Punk band in Australia where punters are questioning if a standing ovation is insensitive or not. Cockbelch are great though, with a half naked, tights wearing, 4th wall breaking vocalist you can’t really go wrong. With songs about fisting hypothetical girlfriends and everybody being cunts, hilarity will ensue when you go to a Cockbelch show. With a solid guitar section held up by blistering drum parts, a cheeky front man with a set list permo’d on his back and exceptional stage banter from Joel the bassist and all the members, I can guarantee great times at a Cockbelch show.

Under The Influence

Coming out from their recent hiatus which in my personal opinion, was way too long, ‘UTI’ came back strong! With just a slight change in lineup they recorded a killer new EP: ‘Wasted Youth’ which is available now. Kino the drummer/vocalist, a giant, towers over the kit making it look like a kids toy, also in the process making drumming and singing look way too easy. ‘Moey’ the guitarist, with his techy, skate Punk, palm muting patterns and that oh so beautiful Fat Wreck guitar tone he fills the top end while ‘Curci’ tightly wraps up the act with his bass phenomena. Hailing from Wollongong, UTI are an absolute balls to the wall skate punk performance that you NEED to see.


Every time I see Skinpin, no matter which city I’m in let alone state, the guy next to me will always, at some point, turn to me with wide eyes and his hands out just repeating “Faaarrkk!”. This time Cizza won the medal. Skinpin are without a doubt one of the hardest working bands in Australia and the only band that I know that has a solid monthly roster every month. They’re a flat out 2 piece (w/ splitter) punk band from Sydney who are just dedicated to traveling the country and delivering their sound to as many people as possible. Their slogan; Skinpin, keep up doesn’t just apply to their music. It’s not the rapid changing of chords, keys, time signatures or fills that truly lives up to it but, in my opinion, it’s more their lifestyles. Not only are they constantly traveling for gigs but they also juggle work between all of the mayhem. If for some really unusual reason you haven’t yet heard of Skinpin I suggest getting onto them and getting down to their show. You will not be disappointed.


Hailing from Wollongong, Maggot are a relatively new band on the scene however they’re members are far from fresh. Front man Loki, having been in previous bands through out Wollongong for quite sometime, utilised his connections and decided to throw together Maggot using members from Topnovil, UTI and Cult Killers. Having a few issues with line up early on, set them back a little bit at the start of this year. But in true Steel City fashion, powered through, in turn, landing them ‘Des’. Now with a hard hitting, solid drummer they’re smashing shows around the state and I mean SMASHING them! Maggot are consistently getting a bigger, better sound & crowd every time I go to see them. Loki’s hilarious stage antics and adorable laugh will keep you smiling and chirpy through one of the heaviest, thickest punk sounds coming out of Wollongong.


Just you’re typical 4th generation Oi punk band still charging strong since the 90’s. Every town has one right? What’s that? You don’t? Oh…
With a distinct influence of Rancid and early Oi bands, Topnovil will have you raising you’re fist and singing along to their high impact, anthem style song writing. There’s plenty of old man jokes that fly around at their shows but they’re certainly not shy to show you how limber they really are. Toppy are simply a 10/10 stage act. They tell such great stories through their songs, which are delivered with their own certain punch and intensity that you can’t help but feel automatically included in all the fun. I was born into a world where Toppy have always been around (I was 3 when they formed) but I couldn’t imagine a world without them. They’ll be coming down to Melbourne in a few weeks to headline ‘Never Mind The Warped Tour’ so prep your combats and slick up your hawk because they’ll destroy the stage and half of Melbourne with it. You wouldn’t want to miss that would you?


You can catch all the mayhem that is Topnovil at the Nevermind The Warp’d Tour Festival, 3rd December 2016.  




Words by Lochy Rowe. Images by Rod Manning.

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