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.
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.