In case you didn’t hear, The Lulu Raes and the Polish Club absolutely ignited the Newtown Social Club last Friday in exhausting moments of intense dancing or within joyous, reflective interludes catalysed by the on-stage talent.
The Lulu Raes and Polish Club seem an unlikely duo, but their Sydney show begged to differ having literally destroyed Newtown SC with their live prowess.
In a fruitful Friday evening haze, the venue had magnetised with the Sydney headliners to draw in a solid, fun-thirsty crowd, to be captured in the black vacuum of the upstairs gig room and consequently shown one hell of a time. It is always a huge treat to see two completely different and momentous acts sharing a big ol’ double headliner in full steam of their latest single and in a thick stream of wild gigs, revealing the broad spectrum of prolific and amazing bands that permeate the scene.
From the get go, the ominous, black walled venue was overshadowed by the heavy and elevating fuzz of psych-blues. The epicentre of this strange den was fronted by two men (vaguely Polish). These were two very fucking loud savage men playing the blues at an incredible pace.
This was my first observation of Sydney two-piece, Polish Club and won’t be my last. The duo played with tight, pulsating rhythms, layering and accentuating thick bluesy riffs over the canvas of bass and snare hits that were fed at rapid fire, like a well oiled machine, ‘JH’- with his built, thick forearms like Popeye, steadily kept a solid beat whilst vocalist Novak elevated the tunes into raucous, rock and roll hoedowns.
The intense dynamic that progressed from loud to louder to that of a flaring Boeing 737 climaxing into heels-to- Hendrix breakdowns that ultimately sent shockwaves into the minds and limbs of punters, as a few graduated to Ian Curtis-style dance moves around the stage.
A quick bat of the eye around the room revealed the effect this punchy, emotive set; incredible glowing faces, laid their life and hearing on scene, cherishing both the vivid intensity of noise and the authentic space given within blues structure.
The 2 piece have played a string of gigs around the Sydney scene as well as an almighty US of A tour, backed up by their latest single, My House/Blood and Bone a well recorded, raw, testament to the bands sound and energy as they wail and woo their way into the hearts and heads of a diverse audience.
Polish Club are set on a aural collision course to meddle with the likes of Kirin J Callinan, Dune Rats and The Murlocs at Brisbane festival The Blurst of the Times as well as commandeering local sets at venues Australia wide. In this climate of constant musical crossovers, blends and blasts with the past, it is easy to pick and choose the sounds within the immense sphere of music to amalgamate as your own.
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Yet, chock full of humbling blues authenticity and heartthrob lyricism Polish Club have landed smack bang in the middle of the palette of 12- bar madness, brought to life within the bustling streets of Sydney, their energy, message and music within context is ultra grounding, with resonances turning back musical clockwork, and resurrecting the blues, on their own terms.
In the wake of the chaos, the club is a dark room, once again silent and full of strangers. I begin to cultivate the eeriness of absence as I initiate pay-pass into liquid form. On my mind is one thing… That new tune from The Lulu Raes, previously sang outwardly in the shower just that very morning whilst wallowing in soap scum.
The single is Infinite Paradise (Sail Away) and although Corona didn’t enjoy the binge drinking in the shower idea, when the song was played live, I was instantly transported to where I would rather be… right fucking there. A curtain closed entrance, ensued calf raising, cautious leans from the audience vindicating all elements of personal space.
I edged closer to the PA at the front all knowing this would be the perfect place to get my rocks off. And it was. Opening with their newest flavour Infinite Paradise, the 5 piece got well and truly stuck into the bouncy, warm, summery vibe it reeked of, letting the crowd relish around the dance floor, consequently turning the venue into a heaving sweat pit of laughs and slack jawed gazes.
The pop/rock outfit really hit the main vain, oozing into fun-filled dancey rhythms, carried by addictive lyrical melodies and harmonies that trail seamlessly through each arrangement. Space bound gats, auxiliary keys and percussion drive this smooth sailing vessel into the futuristic realm of pop goodness harnessing, with great intention, the capabilities of a wacky pedal set up and use of a tight sample pad to demonstrate each individual voice.
Just as quickly as you jump up for a band like this, gravity (the bastard) coupled with well worn mullet from the bass man ensure that you will return back to earth, with a renewed vigour to the tune beat by beat in funkalicious unison. The band carried themselves on stage with a ‘dorky’ larrikin vibe, sporting the most vibrant and cheeky outfits to get you in the mood to perspire keenly to not-so-guilty pop/rock pleasures.
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Cutting down to a personal interlude, in which chart-topping hit, Happy Birthday was sung to frontman ‘Eddie’. Happy birthday Eddie; you’re a champ. The set rolled on as trusty fans flashed uncreased memorabilia bought just minutes before only to be given the most classic rendition of Rupert Holmes‘ Escape (the pina colada song), in which many a happy folk mouthed and belted off key lyrics in an intimate exchange between band and audience.
These moments characterise both the bands’ personality and their incredible impact on the lively human response that saturated the walls of the Newtown Social Club.
By grappling both ends of a musical fuse and bringing to light the insane joy that can be reaped from live music, with exponential momentum both bands, the bands continue to leave a big impression on the constantly evolving music scene. They leave in their wake the recognisable predecessors of artistic influence, in an ultimate ode to feeling, individuality and expression, driven on the self selected plane of ambition that ultimately improves our vision of the world. From the way we shower, to the way we dance, to the way we feel.
The Lulu Raes will continue touring alongside Polish Club in Adelaide on the 15th of April as well as the Blurst of the Times festival on the 16th.