With the weather dropping disgustingly drastic outside, the people of Melbourne were thawed from the inside-out with the warmth of a Thursday night gig upstairs at The Grace Darling in Collingwood.
Great Gable kicked off their ‘Early Morning’ Single Launch tour at the start of this month, seeing the boys travel out of their home state of Perth to various parts of Oz. Melbourne being their fifth stop on the tour, there grew much excitement due to it being their FIRST TIME HERE! They later admitted to getting lost in Port Melbourne with the help of Bass man Brichards but it was all ok in the end after witnessing, meeting and getting photographed with Warnie having a ciggie!
Kicking the night off was the bone-thumping Bendi locals, STOKA. Due to sickness, the band previously booked were unable to attend SO with two days notice this band of four became a trio and warmed the crowd into a reggae- rockin bop. Clearly influenced by musical groups of the same vibe, Sticky Fingers and Bootleg Rascal, STOKA brought smiles with their rad infusion of Dub beats and twisted rock. “Is it cool if we just jam for a bit?”, front man Aaron asked to which the crowd expressed their approval in a groovy huddle. One of Sticky Fingers’ early tracks ‘Murderour Nerves’ was covered and to close the set STOKA called upon a sing along and the excited crowd did not fail...Who doesn’t know the words to Under The Bridge!?!?
Next up were Ringwood locals, LongBoys. Straight from the get go, these lads had the crowd wrapped around their fingers! Exploding with cheeky personality, lead vocalist/guitarist ‘StingRay’ shared tales between songs and had everyone laughing, agreeing, skulling and eventually sweating! A few weeks ago LongBoys had their own EP launch which includes tracks Grim Ave, 6 Hours and Lucid. There are spacey guitar twangs layered with old school sounding fuzzy rock, a combination that bloody works. It was clear that these guys thrived on crowd interaction which led lead man StingRay into the ‘pit’ a fair bit. A floating musician slapping the tambourine and grooving with the people really was a special sight. Closing their set, LongBoys chose a newbie, ‘Untitled’. The best part about this song was not the fact that it was an absolute banger of a hit but that it had to be read out from a piece of paper and this piece of paper seemed to be the back of Bunnings Reciept! I guess inspiration really does come from anywhere! Haha. This crew certainly greased up the people ready for the final act..WOO!
It was then time Great Gable to grace the stage in the nook of the upstairs band room. The set up at the Grace Darling meant that it was going to be an intimate set, complete with shiny disco balls. The boys regathered the people by starting with a fresh track. The lead vocals brought to us by Alex are beautifully mashed up with folky croaks and breathy light and shade. ‘Taste’ proved an absolute hit as hair was thrashed about amidst the crowd. Keeping on this high a cover of Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ was thrown in and thoroughly enjoyed by ALLLLLL! Alex humbly introduced the rest of the band giving a special mention to Tommo on merch. He’d been following them for the long haul providing the goods of shirts, CDs and even kisses (for a whopping 50cents!).
The vibes were slowed down with the soothing sounds of ‘Drift’. As I looked around the room, the many mouths in sync with the lyrics was an awesome spectacle. The funky guitar introduces the head rocking beats to track ‘Punga’ which blended nicely into ‘Only For You’. This really had the now-not-so-cold Melbourne crowd kick up their feet and glasses. Drawing to the end of the set, Great Gable introduced their new single ‘Early Morning’, the number one reason for them standing on the stage. It was really a perfect closure of sound that complimented the set as a whole and left large smiles on the faces of the attendees.
Discovering good music on a cold Melbourne evening.....there’s really nothing like it.
Reviewer/ Photographer - Chelsea Meatchem