LIVE REVIEW: SOMETHING ON THE SIDE FEST FEAT. CHIEF RICHARDS (PETER BIBBY) / HIDEOUS SUN DEMON / ELECTRIC TOAD
Wednesday 23 July 2014 at the Rosemount Hotel
First published by themusic.com.au 6 August 2014
This Wednesday saw a sink of energy form at the Rosemount Hotel as eleven bands took up the main stage and small bar Four5Nine for double-stage extravaganza Something On The Side. Starting as early as 7:00 with squealing punks King Crime and Robbie Rumble. Punters who made it out early to these new acts were rewarded with intimate, relaxed performances from the small groups leading up to the blooming psychedelica of Hunting Huxley and Dream Rimmy as audiences crossed between stages to glimpse the best of each set.
The smaller Four5Nine Bar was host primarily to aggressive, sonically violent punk bands which made the most of the tight space by getting in the faces of their devoted audience with savage and brutal high distortion and fast, intense sets chewing through the high-density line-up. Kitchen People’s loose punk stagger was quickly tightened by Skullcave before Black Stone From The Sun took the stage, a duo grinding through their songs only to stop at the nine minute mark. “We don’t have a set. We just play it as it comes. Fuck it, we’ll do one more,” Sean Mackay, guitarist, grumbled, coaxed into a slaughterhouse of noise. Aborted Tortoise, popular as ever, were playing next on their home ground, perfectly suited to the close-quarters venue spitting right into their audience.
On the main stage Chief Richards, a sole figure with a loop board, gorilla mask and polkadot trousers, wound digital prog nonsense around a throbbing reverb to a bewildered audience. Mumbling through the mask to hecklers, he coaxed Catbrush drummer Anetta Nevin on stage to accompany a shrieking electrical storm with her thundering percussion, bringing the set to an explosive conclusion. Hideous Sun Demon, the last formal band of the night, then took the stage to a full bar with a stripped-down set as frontman Vin fought for the spotlight against the alarming cling of his trouser crotch. The crowd surged in a throng of violent energy to their breakneck rock, somehow equally aggressive and benevolent as thrashers gave way to their friends for a good time.
At last Electric Toad filled the stage. With 16 musicians crammed on stage and clambering over their instruments, Stephen Bellair, Anetta Nevin, and Blake Hate howled random vocals as remaining revellers struggled to co-ordinate dances to jam songs. A stand-out jam with King Crime’s Samuel Joseph Evers screaming a refrain of ‘it’s okay, it’s all right!’ lasted a marathon ten minutes, until finally the event collapsed into chaos and creative exhaustion.
‘Electric Toad at the Rosemount Hotel’ by Richard Moore.