OzFest: Live review and gallery | Miami Tavern | Saturday 27 February 2018

Well, it was a scorcher at Ozfest 2018. There was a little bit of a change from last year with all the action going on upstairs, with DJ’s on the carpark roof and the rock ‘n roll going on inside the Shark Bar. Myself and partner in crime, Miss V, went to check out the action. All those rocking out were thankful for the air conditioning in the Shark Bar.

First band I checked out was Dangerpenny. High energy punk rock pirates, loud, fast and a great stage presence. 100% not boring. They also had a little bit of difference to them, and different is good. For their last song they brought on a didgeridoo, Miss V remarking that the beat was reminiscent of Marilyn Manson’s ‘Beautiful People’. It’s a shame these Brisvegas rockers were not on later for more to see.

Bad Pony were on next, and straight away had a different look and feel. Drums up front for this band; standup drums with a full kit, with separate floor tom with keyboard on the other side front of stage. Dancing, bouncing beats filled the room, but Bad Pony are certainly not a one-trick pony, with thumping beats, great vocal harmonies and acapella vocals all making appearances.

Peach Fur are local lads, grooving-surf-psych (if there is even such a thing). They exude fun and good times and draw from the well of Pond and Tame Impala. They have a good local following, and plenty were on the floor up front having some fun.

Ivey were up next and the pop bounce four piece from Broadbeach poured out their catchy tunes to the growing crowds.

Pandemic were on next and they were there to let everyone know about it! All the way from South Australia, they have a nice groovy melodic grunge / psychedelic sound. Plus some really weird Joe Dirt hair cuts and threads from the 1970’s. Slow groove to flat chat drive. They were a crowd favourite and grabbed a 4 star rating from Miss V.

Rackett were dressed to impressed, and the Sydney all-girl four piece looked the part and looked a solid outfit. From the time they played their new single, ‘Alone’, the intensity lifted, and it was like we were going to the next level. Rackett had a sound that was not tough to explain. As Miss V said the audience was introduced to something new which couldn’t be stuck in a box. Stoner rock and blues were some parts, damn awesome were the others.

Lead singer Bec Callender has an amazing stage presence. She plays, cavorts and tantalises the audience, with a rock goddess-like mastery. The girls are bright and tight with amazing vocal harmonies, and the guitar mastery of Kate Ayala gives the icing on the cake to a great sound. Best overheard comment of the festival – “These girls make the other bands look like they need to go back to the garage and lift their act”. Check them out live soon. These chicks go-off.

The Psychedelic Porn Crumpets were out next and opened with what seemed like a 15 minute song… and they were just warming up. When did it start when did it finish? It is beyond me how these guys keep track of where they are in a song, they were so intricate and technical. It was well played, and the mosh pit crew stuck out what were marathon efforts in the pit. It was very tight, and quite repetitive.

Up next were Cosmic Psychos. They are the least politically correct band ever. The audience all of a sudden seemed to age a little, but the youth and the middle aged combined well in the superset sweat moshpit. I think the Psychos scared off a lot of the hipsters in the audience, and the volume was enough to melt your brain. Buzz Osborne from the Melvins describes their sound as  what it would be like “if you put an electric guitar in a car muffler and towed it down the highway”. Well I can tell you Ross Knight’s bass sound lives up to that moniker, a lot like Lemmy from Motorhead’s bass sound. Loud, noisey, and 100% yobbo rock ‘n bloody roll. The place went mad when the boys broke out with ‘Nice Day for the Pub’, ‘Fuckwit City’, and ‘Lost Cause’ . Loud and proud, the lads wrapped it up with ‘David Lee Roth’, with the lead guitarist John McKeering getting his blue wife beater off to show his full beer gut, and pull out the big lead break for all to see to Knighty’s vocal – “Do you want me for my money- or do you want me for my lead break honey?”. Yes comedy, fun, a huge mosh pit provided by three fat old dudes playing kick-arse tunes. They were good the first time I saw them in 1985, and they  still are blokes you can trust.

The Polish Club came out next in the aftermath of chaos from the Psychos. The young and good looking replaced the mad hot and sweaty. The Club is actually a two piece with a racing pace; guitar and drum combo. The hipster youth had returned and were enjoying the lively tunes. Novak’s singing was clean and concise, and they hardly took a break between songs. Catchy and danceable tunes, with the manic hundred-mile-an-hour drumming of John Henry. They were goooood.

Overall some great talent was on display at Ozfest 2018. The DJ’s had a fair crowd, but that did not really get going until the sun dropped, and it cooled down. Miss V reckons Pandemic and Rackett showed the most potential and pulled the best crowds as well. For me, Rackett were the highlight, but you cannot go past the Cosmic Psychos for sheer volume, and being the godfathers of beer filled grunge. It was a marathon day of 10 hours of good rock n roll, and we hope this continues into 2019.

IMAGES (c) Peter Wheeler

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