Gig Review: Fight For Rhys – Sydney

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Hornsby local band/champs Breizers organised a stellar event that saw a bunch of local(ish) acts hit up the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney’s CBD, all in the name of fundraising.  Newcastle act dave opened the night and were followed by Top LipFlight To DubaiJody and then Breizers themselves took to the stage in an effort to raise money for their mate Rhys Pagalday who is having a shit time battling both Ewing's sarcoma and the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme); who won’t pay for his pricey AF treatment.

Here’s how the night went down:

While walking to the event in the rain that was basically like this:

I was pondering whether Melbourne would actually be a better city to live in. I mean yeah it rains more often but you can be at the pub/club til the early hours, so it's more worth the effort. Anyway I wouldn't let the rain 'dampen' my spirits as much as it had my clothes by this point.

I got there just as dave opened with ‘Thanks Rourkey’.  I noticed a chick in the small audience that was singing every single word.  I introduced myself and soon realised she was a massive fan, as she advised that she had seen them several times in Newcastle.  Unfortunately they seemed to be lacking confidence, which I put down to the unimpressive crowd-size thus far and the fact that it’s still early days for them career-wise.  What they were not lacking, however, was the ability to bring the noise!  I have no doubt their confidence will build in time because these boys certainly have the goods to back themselves!

Scratch that. They completely let loose for ‘Sex Me’ and when they covered Neil Young's ‘Old man’ the small crowd ate it up.  

As Top Lip were setting up, I got irritated as I was reminded about education minister Simon Birmingham making the comment about pursuing a career in the arts being a lifestyle choice and altering the eligibility of arts students to access existing student loan schemes. These boys are fucking great, working hard and getting paid shite. I dunno. It just sucks.  Rabble!

I was happy again as soon as Top Lip began.  They know how to work the stage and they LOVE the spotlight. I think I even caught a little Angus Young/Chuck Berry duck walk from lead singer Eddie. 

Apparently they were lacking a guitarist, but you really wouldn't know it (no offence to the guy that couldn’t be there, I’m sure you’re important!).

Apart from the fucking decent music these guys were cranking out, I also loved the fun these guys were having interacting with each other. 

With only two songs left, the band asked everyone to come to the front and 'boogie' as they launched into their new song ‘Undone’. The crowd that had now grown to a healthy size were more than happy to oblige.  This one was definitely my fave of theirs. Absolutely loved it.  They ended with crowd favourite ‘Special K’, which some punters had already anticipated before it began. I'd even go as far as saying this one is a little metal. It was very heavy!  

Top Lip were already in my playlists at this point.

Flight to Dubai were up next and lead singer Matt had everyone move forward though their first song had barely begun.  I observed at this point that the bands were getting progressively more active on stage, although I doubted that Jody or Breizers could top this energy.  Matt was now violently thrashing his head around and bashing his old school microphone against his head - hard enough that it contributed to the percussion!

Their next track was ‘Hail Damage’ and Matt’s head was now bleeding from the microphone bashing, not unlike an injury consistent with hail damage. 

These guys have versatility that's for sure! Matt, the same singer that was bleeding and thrashing in the last song, proceeded to slow it right down and showcase his solid deep vocals during my favourite of their songs, ‘Bully’. Amazing! 

While some technical issues were rectified, Matt busted out some old school Biggie backed by drummer Nick!  He actually did a fucking great job covering ‘Juicy' and the now decent audience loved it too; except you really notice how white-a crowd you're a part of, when they all chant back the ‘n-word’.  

Their new song sounded like a mix between Rock Lobster by The B 52’s and The Strokes, but with a sped-up tempo; and Matt was now in the mosh pit with the punters.  They certainly know how to get the crowd involved.  At one point Matt requested that we “dance a little jig when the song changes.”  Most people did, myself included, before I remembered:

They ended with their track ‘Girl’ and it’s lucky that just prior they'd given a mosh warning because JFC there was some serious ‘slam dancing/skanking/pogoing’ happening.  (I Googled/YouTubed the terms).

While Flight To Dubai were packing up, Tenacious D’s ‘Tribute’ came on and Matt couldn't help himself. He was still performing.

Strangely enough the crowd thinned out a bit before Jody. Maybe chumps had jet lag after a long Flight to Dubai, or were scared Mike Baird would ground them if they weren’t at home by 11.

I remembered seeing Jody when they supported Northeast Party House and absolutely loving them; so it was no surprise that Jody came out strong.  It was great to see Top Lip really getting into Jody’s set as well as a few punters up the front.  Their second song was ‘Hunter’, which was also a little ‘Strokey’ but with Matt’s vocals akin to Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon. Maybe I just love The Strokes and am hearing them everywhere.  Or maybe they changed an entire generation of rock, ok?  

When Dom was front man though, I felt that Jody were perhaps this generation's Kisschasy (2007, is that a different gen?).  Anyhoo, I loved Dom's matter-of-factness, introducing ‘Codeine’ by saying, "This song's about fucking around with prescription drugs.  It's called Codeine.”  The crowd, were fucking losing it to 'Missing You Around,’ especially Matt from Flight to Dubai who had started another mosh/slam-dancing pit.  No doubt about it though, these guys are pros.

While waiting for the final act Breizers to take the stage, I noticed that there was incense burning, a welcome substitute for the armpit odour I'm used to at gigs, being 5 ft 2 and all. 

Now I know I said earlier that I doubted Breizers could top the energy of Flight to Dubai but sweet Jebus they came out swinging! They opened with a song I believe was called ‘Needle & Thread’ and it really kicked shit off.
Their new song (again I believe it’s called) ‘Go Out Every Night’ got their legion of fans pumping and when it ended the crowd was chanting 'Breeeeeeizeeeeerrrrs'. Not unlike this:

Except in this situation, it seemed to be a positive thing.  Breizers dedicated their track ‘Sexy’ to us in the crowd & I had to agree. I'm not sure who had more luscious hair, the guys, their beards or the ladies.

After declaring their love for Top Lip and lovingly hanging shit on Jody, they launched into their latest single ‘Party Drunk’ and we all fucking loved it.  Having consumed only the one beer, it became evident that Breizers had in fact dispensed a musical elixir that got everyone party drunk. It even had me dancing. By myself. Sober. Yeah, that.

They then played a new song that was a bit slower. Lucas left his drums behind and came to the front with a tambourine.  The horde managed to pick up the lyrics very quickly & in the blink of an eye, Lucas was back behind his kit again and we witnessed the rare phenomenon that is a "rock drop".  The rock drop is similar to the EDM drop where the music builds and intensifies before a large ‘drop’ is experienced - except that the ‘rock drop’ is much less of a cliché.

Up next was ‘I Don't’ and this was familiar - I've been all over it on Unearthed.  Just as Mason sang the line, “the situation is getting out of control” a dude fell off another guy’s shoulders and security sprung from out of nowhere. It was getting super rowdy and the mosh/slam-dancing pits were getting intense now!

The boys lost their shirts at this point with Lucas sing-narrating the scene.  
They also mentioned that Rhys couldn't make it to the gig but that he'll be stoked when he sees how many people came out for him.  They aptly concluded with a song titled ‘Joy’ and hopefully, a little bit of money was raised to help out the Pagalday family.
This was a great night, especially for discovering new playlist material and I can honestly say that despite being sober, was one of the best gigs I’ve been to in a while.

It’s not too late if you wish to help out Rhys and his family, you can donate to his gofundme here: 

Written by Kate Carnell