10 Aussie bands who are way better live

In this age it seems as though there is an ever-growing gap between the process of artists / labels releasing musical material and turning their efforts into a viable source of income. With streaming burning its crazed combustions through the mainstream it’s quickly become the most popular music format in the today.

Gone are the days where landing on a label ensured sales and cash in the back pocket, rather artists are now required to tour relentlessly and work harder than ever just to get by, living off two-minute noddles and fast food diets to complement their fast paced schedules. So with the increased need for bands to tour it is far more pivotal than ever before to support live local bands. Let’s not let deserving local bands die, let’s keep our music culture and scene alive, its as simple as checking out some live shows and supporting local artists and venues.

In no particular order, here are 10 Aussie acts that kill it live. The purpose of this list is to shine a spotlight on hard working bands that deserve your attention. Please keep in mind although this list is tailored to mainly NSW, there are countless Aussie bands out there that span across various cities and towns whom are eager for your support, its just a matter of keeping an eye out.

10 bands better live

There are many great Aussie bands, but not everyone can pull of the live gig. Be sure you catch these 10 bands who are way better live


Zeahorse are a Sydney based punky psych rock four-piece delivering some of the most banging tunes in Australia, drooling with sonic annihilation spat viciously across all aspects of their experimental nature. Renowned for their insane live shows Zeahorse are well aware of how to transfer the energy from their records over to their pulsating live shows, then further blast the energy an extra 10 notches. Simply put Zeahorse are not a band you would want to pass up given the opportunity to witness their invigorating live atmosphere.


Named after a village in the Zelda games, Kakariko are a gritty synth-pop two-piece out of Melbourne, effortlessly blending a shrewd mix of gritty garage rock vibes and lush psychedelic dance pop into one glorious concoction. Kakariko never cease to impress, time and time again delivering outrageously fun live shows infused with tones of experimentation and crowd interaction. Live drums and synths – what’s not to love?

Okay Cocaine

Although having slowed down with their live presence Sydney trio Okay Cocaine are still one of my favourites. Okay Cocaine are a brilliant mess of overloaded reverb tanks, walls of delay and uplifting summertime sensations. A dribbling mixture of lo-fi pop and garage rock, Okay Cocaine deliver a HUGE live presence which is rarely matched. If the blessing of an Okay Cocaine show presents itself, I cannot further stress the excellence of their sets. Okay Cocaine are a joy to watch.

The Nuclear Family

Sydney four piece The Nuclear Family have been slowly but surely making waves around Australia gaining an increasing appreciation for their superb live shows. Sounding as though they crawled their way out of 90s Seattle, The Nuclear Family go all out 100% of the time with the usual presence of nipples and/or nudity, and downright wild live shows. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, The Nuclear Family are up there as one of Sydney’s best.

These New South Whales

On the contrary to The Nuclear family, Sydney garage punk rockers, humorously named These New South Whales, show a lot of skin and leather, but the nipples are off limits, taping them up before each show. TNSW are one of the most outrageously amusing and saucy bands out there, hammering away great rock ‘n’ roll tunes with ridiculous subject matters seen in such songs as Mammas TitChicken Breast and Adam. The boys in TNSW time and time again deliver nothing short of memorable nights.

Hideous Towns

Hailing from Melbourne Hideous Towns dish up some of the most inviting shoegaze/dream pop I’ve heard in some time; oh boy is it great that it’s right here at home. After just recently touring around Australia Hideous Towns have irrefutably proven that they possess the entire package, beautifully translating their lucid soundscapes showcased on their EP right back into their live atmosphere. If vivid melancholic ambience is what excites you, Melbourne’s Hideous Towns are right up your alley!

Primary Colours

Two-piece thrills that give you the chills. Primary Colours; hands down one of Canberra’s finest local acts smashing out their unique breed of post punk, perfect to get those feet moving and propel you right off your ass. It’s time to separate yourself from the rest, Primary Colours push the boundaries of how far they can go whilst maintaing a sound that feels revitalised and fresh. Raw simplicity remains a key aspect of their live show, revealing bare bones and pure artistic attitude; it’s this very rawness that leaves a genuine aspect to each and every Primary Colours show.


If hardcore punk and black coffee is more your thing few manage to surpass the ferocity of Sydney’s own Skinpin. Blistering riffs, some of the craziest and outlandish drumming…ever (not to mention bucket loads of sweat). The Skinpin duo have it all, and boy oh boy do they shine. Scheduled to open for Scottish punk legends The Exploited later this year, it becomes quickly apparent that Skinpin have the chops to keep in step with the best. Not to mention Skinpin are arguably one of the hardest working bands around having booked in over 60 shows this year alone. Respect is given where respect is due.

The S-Bends

Despite the name The S-Bends have pretty much nothing to do with pluming or pipes for the loo. Swarming local pubs, the Sydney group have been tuning heads with their laid back, blissful live shows. The S-Bends put on an impressive show, sporting a packed stage with 6 members and multiple instruments from guitars, saxophones, keys and even melodicas. Rumour has it these guys are preparing some new stuff for us in the future as a follow up to their incredible debut EP entitled Makin Tracks. Stay tuned, and who knows; maybe you can soon catch a new tune at a live show.


Ego are the youngest band on this list, with members of the group having only just finished their secondary education. However their age should serve as no distraction from their heavenly concoction of lucid dream pop, designed to stimulate brain cells and tickle the spine. Their live shows are no different; for a band so young they consistently attain picturesque soundscapes and sprawling textures. Needless to say, it’s impressive to see a band so young blossom into splendour so early on and is an absolute joy to witness live.