It’s incredibly sad to see the Phoenix Public House closing its doors this week. The venue quickly established itself as a powerhouse of live music in the north and in its short life span has played host to a plethora of amazing gigs and has been responsible for many raucous nights, bad dancing, painful hangovers and endless random bruises. Thanks for the good times Paris Martine & Co. Sydney Rd will not be the same without you.
As such it was a bittersweet evening watching Tehachapi and Planet Love Sound take over the bandroom for the final Saturday night party, with Costa and Tina Stefanou showing us how to love with the ever evolving circus that is The Grunge Safari.
Costa & Co. led the charge with a brief but consuming set. Tehachapi have grown since I first encountered their music back in 2010 and their live show is like a living, breathing entity that sucks you in and engulfs you in a miasma of strange and beautiful noise. You’ll never hear this band play a song the same way twice. Onstage they are one with their sound and pour all of their soul into the performance. Tehachapi possess such an intense presence and watching them awash in kaleidoscopic patterns from the live art projections provided by Thomas Russell was an incredibly moving moment in time. Costa’s vocals were on fire and Laura Christoforidis’s fierce delivery had the crowd entranced, vibing along in what felt like a hypnotic spell as the music overpowered our senses.
Planet Love Sound upped the ante with Tina’s theatrics proving to be a mesmerising experience. The woman is bold and of the rare breed of entertainers who can disarm you with her smile, thrill you with her presence and leave you hungering for more with the incredible power of her voice. I instantly fell in love with their progressive pop stylings and their cover of Sonic Youth’s “Kool Thing” was a grand 90’s flashback. Their sounds are primal and the music unfolds organically onstage transporting you to another plane of existence with the momentary euphoria.
After a brief interlude both bands returned to the stage to jam as The Grunge Safari inviting anyone who felt the need to join them onstage for the love-in. Tina & Costa reigned in the chaos as their bandmates let loose freely experimenting with the sound. Mayhem ensued as everyone present gave in to the heady atmospherics and lost themselves in the music. A few punters grabbed the spare mic and unleashed their own vocals into the mix, there were balls flying through the air and the bandroom was awash in lights, colour and movement that was a blissful sensory overload. You need to see The Grunge Safari to understand their brilliance.
The Stefanou siblings are incredible creators who work with both visual and aural mediums to craft an engaging show that is stunning and unforgettable. The tour is hitting The Lass in Newcastle on June 20th and The FBI Social in Sydney on June 22nd. Be there to partake in their unique brand of live performance art.