OK! RELAX save FBi – Feat. BRIDEZILLA + THE SCARE + DZ + PHILADELPHIA GRAND JURY + More! – Oxford Art Factory (08.06.09)

The first in a long line of FBi fundraiser gigs, OK! Relax have presented Sydneysiders with a gig at 3pm on a Monday? God bless the long weekend. And special thanks to the Queen in this case. And a bunch of quality bands for just $10? Well that’s the icing on the (Queens) cake!

Arriving a little late, I only caught the end of Allies, so can’t say too much on them, but in a word, they seem to be a good bit of fun. Lots of synth, lots of rock and/or roll. I’m sure I’ll see them again soon enough to give you a better taste. One of the best bands hitting the streets of Australia at the moment are Sydney’s own, Philadelphia Grand Jury, and tonight they showcased once again why this is the case. Their brand of self-promotion in the form of pre-recorded announcements remains unique to the band, and their on-stage frenzy was even in full swing at this early hour (4pm). Although unlike the last time I saw them, there was far less running around the venue like crazy monkeys. Perhaps it was, indeed, too early for that.

All the way from New Zealand (and in town partly for the Come Together Festival) Bang Bang Eche

followed, who, unlike PGJ, aren’t too big on the self-promotion front. They didn’t say their name once during the gig, let alone that they were from New Zealand! Quite a contrast to say the least. Nonetheless, were a good bit of “fun rock”, maintaining a good stage presence but in the end, came out of it sounding fairly unoriginal.

Two-piece DZ rarely do much that impresses me. And tonight was no exception. I just kind of feel like I went to see The Mess Hall but got these guys instead and it makes me sad. The Scare, who one of our Melbourne reviewers has quite often raved about, followed, and I can indeed see the hype. They run a similar style to the local rock of Warhorse, who are a personal favourite, but seem to make it a bit more generic in the same breath. It’s not a totally bad thing, and they were quite a bit of fun to watch (they have some fantastic stage presence and energy), but there’s definitely an edge that’s missing. “Playing it safe”? That might be one way to put it. Still, a band to watch, and you’ll be able to do so on the upcoming Wolf & Cub tour!

Bridezilla finished the day off, and in their regular glorious fashion. They remain one of the best bands in Sydney, and despite a few technical problems throughout the set, they still stole the show. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – it’s fairly painful how incredibly talented these girls (and guy) are when you consider how young they are. Always worth a view, never miss them if you get a chance to see them.

And be sure to check out one of the many other “Save FBi” gigs in town.

Give generously. And Ask Richard.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.