GIG REVIEW: NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE | OXFORD ART FACTORY (SYD) | 27.3.15
Northeast Party House (NPH) are midway through their 'Double Darts' tour which is their last string of shows before buckling down and composing their follow up album to 'Any Given Weekend'. To sum up their sold-out gig at The OAF in 3 words: believe the hype. Supported By Jody and Food Court, along with a weird creative art display, the show didn’t disappoint.
When I first got inside the crowd was quite sparse but with a quick trip to the ladies’ and witnessing 3 girls pack themselves into one stall despite my naive advice that other stalls were available, I quickly realised how amped this night this was going to be. The small group of concertgoers was a diverse one, as far as fashions go. One girl was in overalls (are they back?), a second was wearing what could only be described as a throw rug and another was wearing shorts that were either too short or her arse was hungry - whichever - they weren’t serving their purpose.
The first support act Jody began playing to a lacklustre crowd but they didn’t let it affect their energy. They seemed to love every minute of it, as did I. The lead singer had a vast vocal range as well as a commanding stage presence. I enjoyed learning about the perils of trying to get a girl and a kebab at the same time from their lyrics and as the crowd was beginning to grow, although most were congregating at the bar, they had a few keen punters dancing toward the end of their set. During their last song, the guitarist impressed with his antics, which included dodging a swinging disco ball after jumping up on the drum kit and maintaining his balance while playing. No one died so #winning.
Next up was Food Court.
Just as they began their first song a small group of rowdy chaps in the crowd began a chant of ‘Oi! Oi! Oi!’ that was reminiscent of an AC/DC track. It was evident from this point that they had their own fans present, including Kenno (I think his name was) who was having an ace time with his green Mohawk and white suspenders, moshing hard on his own for his birthday – which the band obligingly acknowledged. Although Food Court provided a great atmosphere, I couldn’t help but think that had they swapped time slots, Jody would’ve had the now decent sized crowd more amped.
In the break that followed Food Court I queried some guys about how they discovered Northeast Party House. They told me that they happened to catch NPH at Falls Festival and were so impressed that they travelled from the Central Coast to Sydney to see them again at this show. Soon after I overheard another group of guys going on about how awesome they were at falls. Yep. Expectation = high.
Also during this break a glass.. errr… enclosure (?) near the merch stand was illuminated purple with some black pleather-clad women doing slow-motion dance moves and spreading something across the floor. Some regulars informed me that it is an art space and there is always something different inside. Makes sense. It is the Oxford Art Factory.
After a bit of a wait the crowd was re-amped by the classic Ice Cube hit ‘You can do it’. A bit of an odd choice given the warm up acts and the electro-rock sounds we were preparing for but it did the job and was embraced by the now jam packed audience.
Next the curtains parted and NPH opened with their title track ‘Any Given Weekend’, which saw the horde jumping up and down with lead singer Zach. Guitarist Jack Shoe then swapped to a cowbell and delivered an element to the sound that would’ve left even Will Ferrell impressed. We were all clapping in sync’ at this point and it was only a minute into the show.
It was great watching them multitask, especially Sean switching between keyboard/synth, tamborine and cowbell without missing a beat – literally.
Zach was also on point, oozing confidence with his cool, loose dance moves, at times almost taking out band mate Mitch. With Mitch, Zach and Jack jumping along to ‘Fake Friends’ the entire dance floor turned into a mosh pit.
Every now and then the familiar scent of your Bob Marley-loving cousin’s Volkswagen floated through the air and security were intently trying to find the source, which allowed the odd crowd surfer to have a decent run.
At one point Zach got to the edge of the stage and a sea of hands shot up and touched him, ev-er-y-where. He was loving the spotlight and it was easy to forget that these guys still have regular jobs and aren’t household names (yet!).
Later a brief but electric cover of The Vines’ ‘Get Free’ sung by Jack Shoe sent the crowd batshit crazy and we remained in that state all the way through their next song ‘The Haunted’. When they played ‘Valium’ a guy up the front appeared to have a very unique dance style or perhaps a seizure on someone’s shoulders. He appeared to recover though when the band commenced their ‘Like A Version’ of Violent Soho’s ‘Covered In Chrome’, which the crowd ate right up. This band was absolutely owning the night.
We then sung ‘Happy Birthday’ to drummer Malcolm before losing our collective shit to their cult hit ‘Youth Allowance’. Some sassy girls even got on stage and were dancing before Zach doubled as bouncer and got them down.
As the band thanked everyone for coming and made their way off stage, people immediately started leaving the venue and I was slightly disappointed there was no encore; although I can't explain why as I have always thought the concept was inane – we all know you’re coming back for another song so just get on with it. Perhaps it was this assumption that set me up for failure but it does indicate that I was left wanting more from NPH, which can only mean one thing – they killed it.
Here is my suggestion of things you the reader should do in chronological order:
1. Purchase tickets to their next show (you don’t want to miss out like some unlucky chumps did with this one).
2. Watch their doco here: https://youtu.be/YYCYG9q67Ak
3. Check out the interview we did with Sean last month here: http://www.wickeddchildd.com/2015/02/interview-sean-from-northeast-party.html
4. Get to the aforementioned gig early and catch Jody (if you got tickets to the show at The Lair on the 29th March)
5. Tell me how right I was after you attend the said gig.
Written by Kate Carnell
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