Tag Archives: sticky fingers

Review: Sticky Fingers @ The Metro Theatre, March 21

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.

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And the worst blogger finally decides to sit still for more than an hour. And even then, it’s been three weeks since I wrote that previous line, so here goes round two.

Julian Casablancas sang that “ten decisions shape your life, you’ll be aware of five about.” Well at the semi-ripe age of 21, I’ve become aware of two.

Decision #1

Ever since I’ve started my journalism degree, I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone time and time again. I still smile when I think about my first assignment – talk to twenty strangers on the street and just ask them how they’re going and what’s happening in the neighbourhood. Terrifying. I was shy, fresh out of high school and extremely awkward.

When I first started interviewing people over the phone, I would have to script everything before I could ring them. Literally, everything; “Hi, this is Sharon calling from…. how are you today?”

It’s been three years now, and since then I’ve interviewed countless strangers in their homes, learnt to tweet, travelled to parts of Sydney I would never think of venturing to otherwise, and pressed politicians about their policies.

Some time in late 2012, when I finished one of the biggest journalism projects of my life (smogmagsyd.wordpress.com), and landed an amazing editorial internship I decided that it was time to push for more. I had the feeling that I had done everything I wanted to do in Sydney and it was time for me to move on.

After I filed my application to study abroad, I also began writing for two of my favourite online publications, and completed my final journalism major work on the Annandale Hotel – one of my favourite music venues in the world. I put my heart and soul into that, and by the time that was done too, I was ready to leave.

Decision #2

Amsterdam. I had never lived alone, barely knew how to cook and was the proud exhibitor of a permanent floordrobe at my home in Sydney. And for the next six months, I had to fend for myself.

This is one of my earliest memories of Amsterdam: everyone being overly-friendly in the first few weeks of moving into student housing (even forcefully so), I invited a flatmate to have lunch with me. So I serve the stir-fry I had just made and heap a mound of rice onto his plate. I take a bite – the rice is better described as hard than soft. Good one, Shaz. At that early stage, my flatmate is too polite to say it’s inedible (a few weeks later he will relentlessly tell everyone to bring penicillin when I’m cooking and periodically remind me I’m the only human being who can’t cook rice), sort of grits his teeth and says it’s just “slightly” under.

And now I can cook and have become friends with all those people who have figuratively died eating my food. My flatmates were my family and best friends. I’m most nostalgic of waking up and knocking on their doors to go exploring the strange, seedy, wonderful city.

I never thought I’d ride my bike to clubs and double lock it to prevent it from being thrown into a canal or stolen by a junkie; I never thought I’d go to a cat boat and cat museum on the same day. I never thought I’d meet a Norwegian in my life (nor did I think about them much previously, if I am honest), and I never thought I’d fall (platonically) in love with so many strangers. Friendships were fostered in the most unexpected and organic ways.

I’ve learnt bits about the Swiss democracy, about Spanish birthday traditions, and perhaps most importantly, I’ve learnt to appreciate and enjoy the time I spend with myself.

I initiated more conversations with my parents, was excited to tell them about the strangeness and hilarity of adapting to a city with such a unique culture. I became even closer to my sister and became more of the sibling I had always wanted to be.

I grew up, I became more mature and honest about my feelings, and reevaluated the way I saw myself.

I arrived in Amsterdam largely unfamiliar with its culture and people. Being alone for the first time in my life, I became the best version of myself.

My hunger has grown – for unknown cities, for friends I have not yet met and for that feeling of having this vast, terrifying opportunity to experience EVERYTHING looming over me.

I’m not advocating travel as such. What I want to tell you is to push yourself to do things that make you nervous, things that make you squirm and things that make your heart beat a little faster just thinking about it. Dreaming isn’t enough.

Tunes that stuck with me throughout Amsterdam, enjoy:

Sticky Fingers Guerilla Gig @ King St Auto, Newtown

Most would probably describe the venue unorthodox, but when you look at a band like Sticky Fingers who unofficially headlined Newtown Festival in 2010, performing from the back of a fire engine is probably something of a walk in the park. At the start, it was hard to tell whether the crowd gathered at King St Auto in Newtown were here because they had got wind of the free rum or the free gig. Forever the impoverished uni student, I was stoked for the splendid combination of both.

The Sydney four-piece (and sometimes five-piece, like on the day) is known for their eclectic sound labelled by the band as ‘psychedelic reggae’ and ‘surf dub.’ After playing their first song, “Willow Tree,” it became clear that the people weren’t dancing because of the free booze.  For such a relatively new band, Sticky Fingers have garnered a surprisingly loyal and tenacious bunch of followers. Perhaps it was the infectious bass, or front man Dylan Frost’s soulful and melancholic vocals; though their set wasn’t perfect, the rowdy crowd didn’t seem to mind.

Playing a combination of old favourites like “Inspirationalizer” and “Headlock”, as well as some new demos, the throng savoured every tune. Frost wasn’t one for words, but nevertheless the crowd remained enraptured, revelling in the fervent guitar riffs, and reggae beats produced by these earnest, self-professed misfits from Newtown. Overall, Sticky Fingers make a dynamic and entertaining live band with a strong stage presence.

Their latest tune, ‘“Caress Your Soul”’ was released earlier this month and is the title track off their debut album, expected to be released in March next year.

Photo by Me.

A trip

The first song (not single) from Tame Impala’s impending album, ‘Lonerism’. Totally blowing my mind with the nostalgic 70s sounds and reverbs. The aptly named ‘Apocalypse Dreams’ fills my eyelids with scenes of dystopic landscapes and hazy remembrances. As always, the track adheres to Tame Impala’s ‘There’s a party in my head, and no one is invited’ philosophy (Read: Solitude is Bliss). I believe the followup album comes out in October, and they’re also playing at Parklife this year, which should be one huge party.

Is it called Octopus because I feel like they have so many tendrils banging and groping at my eardrums? On first listen, I decided it was a pretty tight reunion track what with its crazy riffs and the return of Kele’s distinct vocals. I conclude it’s a good track, though not a memorable one.

And the latest from local Sydney band, my personal favourite, Sticky Fingers. You’ve got to hand it to these fellas for consistency. Creating another sway-inducing psychedelic dub tune, ‘Caress your soul’ is the first track from their forthcoming debut album (to be released March next year). Sweet riffs, tight production and Dylan Frost’s mellow vocals does crazy things to my ears.