It’s Bec (RACKETT), writing to from Sydney. It’s been a landmark month for international artists playing on local stages. Spills from Splendour in the Grass, like K.Flay and Channel Tres, close enough to reach out and touch (I did my best to restrain myself).
I didn’t know anything about K.Flay before the show. I did my usual ‘got a plus one, who wants it?’ group msg to my friends. No takers? (that’s weird). They’re already going? This rattled me; it’s a winter’s Wednesday night and my friends have tickets to an artist I’ve never heard of (loser).
I arrive early to catch the support act, San Mei from the Gold Coast, an alt-pop artist with great songwriting and an enduring performance, super sweet. My friends arrive and I play it cool. Contagious anticipation fills the room before K.Flay explodes on stage and blows my cover. Hovering around my friends like a fly buzzing, “wow, she’s really good hey?”. They give me those ‘dahhh-silly girl’ looks.
Cutting rock chick shapes, headbanging to bass synths, then coming up for air with delicate vocal melodies before backflipping into some tight af raps, K.Flay is every artist I love and more.
She’s the dark angel of millennial pop. K.Flay and her drummer and bass/guitarist (Josh Lippi) unit, recreate tracks from her new album ‘Solutions’ and stand out singles ‘Blood In The Cut’ and ‘High Enough’ (which I have since been playing non-stop, it’s my playlist), interchanging between instruments. K.Flay occasionally picks up a guitar, punches an spd, but my favourite is when she picks up her bass and covers The Smashing Pumpkins ‘Bullet with butterfly wings’. Though dialogue between songs was sparse, K.Flay revealed her newfound pleasure to be boiling eggs before bed and spending time with her family. WTF! Singing about blood in the cut, throwing herself around stage whilst promoting self-care; what a dynamic artist with intention and self-awareness, so rad. K.Flay mania is real and there is no cure.
Who can rock a crop top with two back up dancers in a pub on a cold Tuesday night in Sydney? Channel Tres! Channel is the Channing Tatum in Mad Mike XXL of house pop. He glides through his set like he’s walking on water. No band, which is rare to see on The Lansdowne stage, just a backing track, mic, two back up dancers and max swag. The crowd is tightly packed, just enough room to rib isolate to tracks from his 2018 self-titled EP ‘Top down’, ‘Controller’, ‘Jet Black’ and a bunch of singles including my favourite ‘Sexy Black Timberlake’ (on my playlist). This was his second visit to Australia, his first visit in November 2018, recruiting new fans of his sexy, sweaty, fun. Looking forward to hearing what Channel Tres puts out next and please come back soon.
Remember this name and remember I told: Battlesnake!
I have written about Battlesnake in my previous postcards because I believe this band will become mutherfing, stadium huge. I was heartbroken, major FOMO, when I realised I double booked a DJ set on the night of Battlesnake’s ‘The Automic Plough’ single launch at The Bank Hotel. I called Jesse Tachibana of Sydney band, ‘Thunder Fox’ to fuel my jealously the next day;
“Doors to Waywards in Newtown open at 8pm to an already sizeable crowd, some hoping to swoop up the final door tickets while others are getting in early for the action.
When it comes time for Battlesnake, the room is seriously packed. The vibe in the room is electric as Battlesnake parade through the crowd to the sound of a thunderous drone, a cheer follows them like a Mexican wave as they take the stage and launch into pure rock ‘n’ roll mayhem: a dash of finesse, a gallon of passion and a laser and lights display that would put Tokyo’s night-light to shame.
Heads bang, hair flicks and smiles bloom; Battlesnake tears through their latest single ‘The Atomic Plough’ with an unparalleled drive and the crowd roars with recognition at the first notes. Around 35 minutes in they drop ‘Nightmare King’ and the response is unbelievable – more than half the crowd sings every V8 charged lyric along with lead singer Sam, and the iconic guitar breakdown is cut off entirely as the melody is sung loud and proud by 150 strong, sweaty legends.
The show comes to a blooming end with a supercharged rendition of ACDC’s “Let There Be Rock”, complete with an insane gnarlshed guitar solo while crowdsurfing from Battlesnake’s very own Ben Frank.
A top-notch show and a night not to be soon forgotten. Fantastic stuff Battlesnake!”, Jesse Tachibana (Thunder fox).
A Postcard from Sydney Playlist
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