It could be the common misconception that winter is a time to slow down, become a homebody, and stay in bed with your electric blanket, a cup of soup and a good book. But in the words from Australian favourites, Bluejuice, ‘Are you gonna get up or are you gonna stay in bed?’ And with a tour such as ‘The Winter of the Discotheque’ coming to a university near you, you would be a fool to pick the latter.
Bluejuice bought their tour to the University of Wollongong on Saturday night, to an excited crowd of Wollongong fans. The Preatures (originally The Preachers) kicked things off just after eight, with the sultry voices of lead singers Gideon and Isabella warming up the crowd. Having never seen this band live before, I was impressed with their bluesy-rock set, and the dual vocals and harmonies gave the band a great dynamic. Their song "Take A Card" has been booming on my iTunes ever since I got the pleasure of witnessing it. Regardless of whether you’re a boy or a girl, if you didn’t leave that set without having developed a little crush on Isabella, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Deep Sea Arcade were next to hit the stage. Another band I hadn’t witnessed live, their fusion of indie-pop music mixed with a slight ‘60s vibe had turned me into a converted fan by the end of the set. The burgeoning crowd slowly started paying more attention – while Deep Sea Arcade may not be the most energetic band rocking around on the stage, their music commands a certain attention that not all bands can achieve. Nic McKenzie’s voice almost has a dream like quality to it, and songs such as "Seen No Right" and "Girls" definitely enthralled. The songs bring with them the imagery of kicking back with a few beers in warmer months, enjoying the sun and summer breeze – a lovely feeling and escape from reality to have when you know as soon as you walk outside you’ll be blown away by the biting wind.
Finally, it was time for Bluejuice to burst onto the stage – and while the supporting bands had been slightly more chilled, you know as soon as the band gets on stage, shit is about to get serious. Bluejuice are known for their relentless touring and always putting on amazing, highly energetic performances – the kind that would make you forget it was even a winter night while you work up a sweat, jumping like a crazy person to songs like "Broken Leg’"and "Vitriol".
Highlight songs included ones from their third and latest album Company – particularly singles "Act Yr Age" and "The Recession". Having followed the music endeavours of these guys for the past few years, and even having the pleasure, or perhaps displeasure, of seeing them film that kiss (you know the one... in "Act Yr Age") in the flesh, it was great to see them once again in a slightly more intimate setting, considering they have been a main act on a few festival bills this year.
The best thing about Bluejuice’s performances are that you’re always going to get an amazing, energetic and entertaining show, whether it’s through their outfits on display, their banter with the crowd, or their crowd-surfing antics. With one happy punter claiming he ‘accidentally’ sack-whacked Jake in a crowd-surfing moment, you could safely say the crowd was just as wild on the night as the band themselves. Another successful show from some Aussie favourites.