Rocketsmiths + Red Ink + Royal Chant – The Evelyn, Melbourne (17.06.10)


Spending Thursday night on Brunswick street is always a pleasure, particularly when the Evelyn serves $2.50 pots to stave off the subzero temperatures of a harsh Melbourne winter. First up in the band room were NSW wild men Royal Chant. Royal Chant are Andrew, Brendan, Matt and Mark and their live show was endlessly disappointing. They describe their music as ‘overdriven and hyperverbal rock with passion and poetry’ and whilst their passion for performing was evident, there was nothing poetic or exciting about their music. The boys were showcasing material from their Right On/Write Off EP, and they did play a couple of catchy tunes. A few good songs though, is not enough to make up for a 30 minute set of bland, generic rock that was as boring to watch as it was to listen to. Their performance was average at best, with songs that sport standard chord progression and typical rock riffs that all sound exactly the same, and a singer who wishes he was Bon Jovi that barely moved onstage and did little to engage the crowd.

Moving right a long to Brisbane wonders Rocketsmiths, who got the audience up and dancing with their crazy, energetic onstage antics. Touring in promotion of their single Underground, a true indie/rock gem, Rocketsmiths are a must see live act. These men are mental in a good way. Their music is a clever take on indie/rock with punk nuances and a theatrical element that was very enjoyable live. Think a mildly better looking version of Philadelphia Grand Jury, with better songs and an even more raucous live show. Rocketsmiths owned the stage with a captivating performance, that saw the entire band jumping around, singing a long and having a good old party as they powered through songs from their previous EP’s and new material from their forthcoming LP due out in August. Keep an eye out for Rocketsmiths as they riot around the nation supporting the Gin Club and fingers crossed they’ll be back in Melbourne soon.

Final act for the night was a local band from Frankston (try not to hold that against them) called Red Ink, who put on a cracking show that was highly entertaining. Singer John J is one of the liveliest front men I’ve ever seen, throwing himself around the stage and tossing the mic stand all over the place with killer sex-on-legs style dance moves. Their dance friendly indie rock was fun, highly energetic and well executed live. Think Passion Pit crossed with The Killers, with a heavy 80’s feel. Red Ink put on a frenetic, fast paced show that oozed sex appeal and had the crowd up and jumping. I predict big things for the boys from the peninsula and strongly recommend catching them live whilst they’re still playing intimate venues like the Evelyn. You won’t be disappointed.