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Bluejuice & The Philly Jays @ the Hoey Moey

It’s already about 90% humidity inside the small Hoey Moey gig room when the openers, Philadelphia Grand Jury take to the stage. The two-man garage rock combo (with new drummer Susie Dreamboat of Brisbane band I Heart Hiroshima) don’t need long before the crowd is wrapped around their little fingers, with their twangy guitar riffs and thumping beats.

As much theatre performance as a music gig, we’re entertained by MC Bad Genius (the bearded one – bass player) striking a statue-pose for minutes on end during the middle of their recent hit “Save Our Town”, while Berkfinger (the blonde one – vocals/guitar) jumps into the mosh pit, guitar in hand, getting down and dirty with the crowd. The Philly Jays, as they are also known, put on a great live show, with all the energy and rawness of your older brother’s band playing at a 21st birthday party. Their brand of lovable geek rock won’t appeal to everyone, but if you’re open to new experiences and a good time they’re the men for the job.

Giant fluoro letters appear across a blacked-out stage as the room swells to capacity in anticipation of the second act on the bill. Bluejuice are a five-piece Sydney outfit who first gained success on Triple J with their 2007 single, Vitriol – an unashamedly catchy dance pop gem. Opening the show with a few lesser known tracks, the party really gets started with the title track off the band’s 2009 album, Head of the Hawk.

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The trademark 80s sitcom synthesizer and heavily distorted bass brings out the dancer in all of us. Front men Jake and Stav’s tight harmonies sit nicely inside well-crafted melodies, almost at odds with their mischievous on stage antics and obvious penchant for partial nudity. The air conditioning is still missing in action, but the infectious ska-tinged beats won’t let anyone stand still, as the crowd jumps and drips in time with the band. If you want to lose weight, come to a Bluejuice show.

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