LIVE REVIEW: Polish Club at Rad Bar 10/12/16

Rad Bar is a popular place to kickback with friends and enjoy some live music, with a variety of great acts playing most days of the week. Polish Club’s gig on December 10th, supported by Sun Sap and Food Court, was no exception to the high-standard of performances at Rad Bar. All three acts differed in style, but were equally talented and popular with the crowd, making for an awesome Saturday night.

Sun Sap were first up, with their mix of garage-rock, surf-rock and country creating a cohesive and confident sound for such a young band. The energy and enthusiasm Sun Sap had, combined with their musical skill, made for a fun set. Even on the tiny dancefloor they had the crowd dancing along with them, with the usual banter and sharing of drinks seen at Rad Bar. Without overpowering the other members, the lead singer really lead the band, giving off vibes of Pelle Almqvist of The Hives as he commanded the crowd and interspersed his singing with bombastic howls and yells.

Food Court were up next with some good, classic garage rock. With 2 guitars, 1 bass guitar and a drummer, Food Court had the classic pop-punk lineup, but this didn’t mean they didn’t have their own individual style. Rather than defaulting to a Green Day or Blink-182 style of nasally vocals and angsty lyrics, Food Court’s Aussie background came through in their music. Combined with well-practised and tight instrumentation, the band pumped up the crowd for the next band.

Polish Club were the headliners for the night at Rad Bar, and they certainly fit their role as the stars of the show. Made up of only a drummer, John-Henry, and guitarist/singer, Novak, Polish Club made a lot of noise for so few members. Described on their Triple J Unearthed profile as writers of ‘pop songs fifty years late and twice the speed’, Polish Club played a unique mix of fast, hard drumming and soulful, bluesy guitar and vocals. Novak played like a man possessed, falling into the middle of the crowd at one point to play a guitar solo on the ground. With a sound similar to Kings of Leon or the Black Keys and pulled together by the front man’s brash, full-bodied vocals, Polish Club played hit after hit, many of them short and sweet. A highlight of their set was a mashup of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’ leading into a raunchy cover of ‘Pony’ by Ginuwine, once again firmly set in their own style but extremely well-done and fun. Polish Club have an album coming out soon, and their performance at Rad Bar definitely heralded big things happening in the band’s future.

Dec 16th 2016 | Daisy Loomes


LIVE REVIEW: Dos Enos + The Zilzies + Tropical Wax + Colin Jones and the Delta Revue at Rad Bar 23/9/16

Dos Enos headlined a night of fantastic music at Rad Bar on Friday the 23rd of September, supported by The Zilzies, Tropical Wax and Colin Jones and the Delta Revue. Rad Bar is a popular venue located in the heart of Wollongong, within walking distance of Wollongong train station and a variety of clubs, pubs, bars and restaurants. Hosting live music most nights of the week, it’s a popular place to kick back with friends and have a few drinks. A set of stairs at the back of the venue lead to a second floor with vintage arcade machines and a window overlooking the stage, allowing you to relax with a drink and watch the show. If you’ve ever hung out in your mate’s garage listening to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, you’re likely to feel right at home at Rad Bar.

The Zilzies kicked the night off and captured the vibe of Rad perfectly, easing the audience into a psychedelic rock trance with smooth dialogue between the lead guitar and saxophone. Generally, I’m upset with any band that has a sax player and doesn’t at least mess around with Baker Street, but The Zilzies proved to be an exception as they made up for it with a solid set that established an upbeat mood for the evening. Kicking it into gear later in their set, The Zilzies skilfully set the stage with a controlled mess of rhythm and groove.

Tropical Wax were up second with a groovy set. Their frontwoman Grace George danced and sung to the crowd, keeping the vibes going throughout their performances. A highlight was their cover of Gnarl’s Barkley’s ‘Crazy’, which Tropical Wax ramped up to a crowd-pleasing, rocking track. A few songs saw a duet between the drummer and singer which worked perfectly and showed off their vocal skill. Their energy and size worked well with the small venue and the band were well practiced and worked flawlessly together. Tropical Wax are a prime example of the popular South Coast sound seen in a lot of local bands and put on a great show.

I’ve got a sweet spot for Blues music, and growing up on Leadbelly and B.B. King has given me a decent sense of how it should sound. Colin Jones and the Delta Revue obviously have a similar background; it was clear that these musicians knew what they were about. With a sound reminiscent of George Thorogood with a raspier voice, Colin Jones flicked the switch from a sweet groove to a hard rock, ramping up the crowd for Dos Enos’s set. They played the crowd like an instrument and got every single person up on their feet with minimal and effective blues riffs, a feat that only the best musicians can pull off.

Dos Enos started their set with an acknowledgement of country of the local Aboriginal people and proceeded to pump up the audience, even after a previous three hours of exhaustingly great music and non-stop dancing. I noticed a lot of people in the crowd wearing their shirts, and it was easy to see why they had so many fans. Dos Enos put on a high-energy performance and it was clear that they truly enjoyed playing music and entertaining a crowd. Their high-energy got a similar response from the crowd as they danced alongside the band – one of the highlights of Rad Bar is the lack of a raised stage, allowing the crowd to mingle with the band mid-performance, resulting in high-fives, tambourine playing and drink sharing. Dos Enos’s mix of hypnotic grooves and upbeat funk meant that even their slower songs captured the interest of the crowd. Their song ‘Unicorns’ encouraged the crowd to ‘take off all of their clothes and run until they find unicorns and rainbows’, which truly sums up Don Enos – trippy, fun music delivered by talented musicians.

Sept 23rd 2016 | Daisy Loomes