The Sydney five-piece is an unstoppable force. An unrelenting touring schedule – national and international – paired with their perfected art of hit-making and irreverent Newtown swagger, Sticky Fingers have become a fast crowd favourite. A mainstay of the live circuit, the boys have reached a milestone, selling out one show after another for their Land of Pleasure tour. Sydney’s Metro theatre was no exception, and was packed out by revellers from the very beginning.
Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” was played out in its entirety – an admittedly self-indulgent gesture, before Sticky Fingers were finally coaxed on stage with chants of “Stiiiiiii-cky Stiiiiiii-cky.” Shout out to guitarist Seamus who is in his trademark red hot shorts again. The band open with “Freddy Crabs,” which showcases an absolute killer of a piano intro. The whole tune is one fat psychedelic jam with a reeling guitar solo, one of the most elaborate and complex tracks on their debut, Caress Your Soul.
Sticky Finger’s new single, “Gold Snafu” from their upcoming sophomore album is played to a crowd who already knows every single word. Whether it’s songs from yet to be released Land of Pleasure, or old crowd favourites “Headlock,” and “How To Fly,” the audience laps up each and every one indiscriminately. For the devotees below the stage, these guys can do no wrong.
“These Girls” – if ever there was a Sticky love song, this is it. Lead singer, Dylan Frost croons “When I’m lying in her arms/I’ll be thinking about you.” Many girls (and boys) in the audience figuratively die because they just can’t.
Jimmy Young from the band Bootleg Rascal is then invited on stage to play with Sticky Fingers for the song, Bootleg Rascal. Nailed it.
No Sticky’s set is ever complete without one of their mates jumping in for a jam. Last year it was Tuka (Thundamentals), and this year, one Nick Lupi (Spit Syndicate) appears, who celebrates his twenty-sixth day of birth on stage with the Newtown lads. The MC throws down a few rowdy verses before retiring backstage.
For the encore, front man Frost returns to the stage alone and plays the stripped back “Slow” – a track from their early days that demonstrates the skilful song writing that has carried the band to success. Mid-tune, the lead singer is joined by his companions who flesh out the track together. It ‘s one of their strongest moments on stage, with the stripped back instrumentals creating quite a striking, visceral experience. The crowd are taken, and you can tell because it’s the calmest they’ve been since the start of the show.
The Sticky crowd is ‘loose’ at best, but more accurately described as rough, and when the band wrapped up with 2013 Hottest 100 fave, “Australia Street”, they promptly lost their shit. There was no one in sight who couldn’t belt out “I don’t feel/afraid from you” ending the night on a good-vibe high.
Energy levels were at a constant high, and true to form, Sticky Fingers put on a ripper of a show. They’re still a bit rough around the edges, and they’ve definitely played tighter sets, but it was hard not to be seduced by the band’s raw enthusiasm. The boys were clearly stoked that all their hard work has paid off – and so they should be. If anything is to be said, these gnarly Newtown troublemakers are in it for the long haul.