Earlier in December, I was lucky enough to catch Scott Reynolds‘ set in support of Anti- Flag’s tour of Australia. It was a quirky and somewhat unexpected performance, just Scott and a nylon stringed acoustic wedged firmly between highly energetic sets by locals Wolfpack and the headliners Anti-Flag. It was a tough gig, but it also left me a bit intrigued. I was therefore pretty happy to see an announcement that Scott would be playing a small series of sideshows in a more intimate setting. The Melbourne sideshow was ably supported by some of Melbourne’s better singer songwriters, Joe Guiton and Shadow League and Portland’s Tim Hampshire. All performers are capable story tellers, able to engage people in tales of struggle, love, loss and celebration via their music.
Scott is a veteran of the American pop punk scene, having fronted cult status bands such as ALL and The Pavers in the past. While there were some elements of his pop punk sensibilities, Scott’s set also demonstrated his left of centre thinking and unwillingness to be constrained by expectations. It’s not often you see a bunch of Melbourne punks swaying along to a set that has such obvious jazz influence. Ramones and Misfits covers have never sounded so saccharine and Scott’s reinterpretation of old Pavers and ALL songs provided the listener familiar with the original recordings with a new perspective on the songs. Scott’s set was punctuated with stories (often self deprecating) about the origins of some of the songs that provided the listener with even further insight.
While this may not sound very punk, the reality is that three minutes of discussion with Scott lead me to believe that he doesn’t really care what people think. Whilst he presents as a sweet dude with little in the way of pretensions, either musically or personally, he is a guy that wants to stretch the genre musically and to upset people’s expectations.
All in all, the Melbourne sideshow was an intimate and pretty special experience. If you dig having your expectations stretched and like your music with a sweet toned voice and little bit of off beat melody then I highly recommend checking out Scott Reynolds.
Words and pictures by Matt Gleeson.