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29 January
Photos by Chris Symes
Review by Alanna Symes

Backed by the red lights and strong scent of pizza wafting through Lucy’s love shack, Two for Flinching didn’t waste a second of their opening set on Wednesday night. They kicked off the evening with a short but powerful set, and a reminder of why the local punk rockers have become something of a staple on line-ups across the city.

Their first song of the night was an ‘Untitled’ number (working name: Grizzly Bear) that delivered the solid rock and strong vocals the band are known for. And being no strangers to the shack, the sparse crowd didn’t stop TFF from putting on a killer performance – complete with Matt Hatton (vocals/guitar) literally letting his hair (ponytail) down as they started the second song.

TFF took a short breather to make one last ditch attempt the get the crowd a little closer, before finishing with another banger and leaving the at least partially loosened up crowd in the capable hands of Alex the Kid.

Alex the Kid. They threw c-bombs at us, posed hard hitting questions about the appropriate place to stand while using a public toilet and reminded us ‘poor mother***ers’ that we all had to work in the morning. Somewhere in between they snuck in a few cheeky chords that sounded suspiciously like grease lightning and we lapped it all up because the Geraldtonian rockers still found time to deliver a solid set of their fast, fun sound.

TFFs Matt Hatton stuck around to unleash more energy than the rest of crowd combined and basked in the upbeat sounds of ATK. The set was a mix of their latest EP Straight Outta Luck, 2016 album Speak Up and there 2014 Columbus collab – Peach T and We Made too Many Jager Bombs.

Highlights included the melodic and punchy title track Straight Outta Luck, before James Matthews took his vocals (and more energy still) off stage and into the ever-growing crowd for Tenderloins. They left us with Skate or Lie (and much jumping) before making way for everyone’s favourite Minnesotan family band.

Tiny Moving Parts graced Lucy’s stage on the fifth leg of their second Australian tour – complete with a fresh west coast sunburn and a newfound love for Quokkas. Treating the now swelling crowd to their lively brand of math-rock-with-a-liberal-dose-of-pop, TMP kicked off with The Midwest Sky, the first track of their 2019 album breathe.

Their on-stage presence was one of the best I’ve seen and from that first song it was clear their recordings can’t hold a candle to their live shows. Dylan Mathieson (Lead vocals, guitar) was all wide smiles and jumping throughout the show, bringing light and joy to the otherwise dark undertones of their music.

As they transitioned into their 2018 album Swell with Applause, the crowd needed no encouragement – resisting the urge to climb on top of the trio, whilst giving an impressive display of jumping and head banging all in unison.

Going back in time again, 2016’s Headache came with a dedication to the Quokkas and gave yet another example of how great TMP are live.

After a quick breather and an “I love you’ shouted somewhere from the depths of the shack, TMP gave us a few old favourites from the Pleasant days with Sundress and Always Focused. As we went back as far as Moving to Antarctica (2010), it was For the Sake of Brevity that started some attempts at crowd surfing, and a few near misses with the roof.

Always Focused was Matthew Chevaliers time to really shine, putting on an impressive show of both bass and vocals – his calmer and relaxed vibes a not unwelcome contrast to Mathiesons euphoric energy that punctuated the night. Medicine, a firm favourite from the album backing the tour was set to be the last song of the night, but the crowd were relentless. The trio had barely taken a step to the right when the cheers for an encore started. With almost no persuasion needed they regrouped for one more song to close the set.

Despite one rogue enthusiast shouting ‘DAKOTA’ incessantly for 2 minutes, loud enough for diners at the noodle bar down the street to hear, TMP politely ignored that request and much to that one fans disappointment – proceeded with Caution instead. We’ll never get that 2 minutes of our lives back, but we can at least feel confident that all bar one, went home happy on Wednesday evening.

Tiny Moving Parts delivered more than anyone could have hoped for and the only question now is: When is their live LP coming?

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