Hoodlum Shouts, Agency, Marlon Bando, Petre Out @ Lobrow Bar, Saturday June 24

Cody Atkinson

Cody Atkinson

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Cody Atkinson

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Photo by Megan Leahy.

Compared to the frantic, guitar heavy assaults that were to come later in the night, Petre Out’s solo acoustic guitar pop tunes marked a pretty severe departure from the form guide. Petre’s set saw a sort of Candle Records meets folk punk approach; confessional tales of his life and others, with some deft wordplay setting it apart. Petre’s stuff grows on you after a while, endearingly so.

Goulburn is renowned for several things – big sheep, pissing ex-Raiders, having two ‘u’s in the name of the town – but heavy garage rock isn’t one of them. But Marlon Bando, relatively fresh onto the Canberra scene, play furious, loud, San Francisco style garage rock that takes no prisoners, and might change the first sentence above. The songs are short, the energy boundless, the riffs plentiful. The sort of stuff that will wake you up on a cold Saturday night.

Agency come at aggression from a different angle, one that’s a little more measured, and had a little time to develop. If Marlon Bando do bursts of fury, Agency are a slow burn, with the underlying basslines lasting for days. The four-piece has evolved into having three different yet complementary voices up front, each providing something different to the band’s sound.

Even though they now live in Melbourne, Hoodlum Shouts are still Canberra music royalty, and the full venue was more than willing to welcome them back into the local fold. Few Australian bands pack as much intensity into their sets as the Shouts, and about a decade on from their first shows they remain as vital a band as ever. Great live bands make you feel emotion about the songs being played, and at times the quartet created cohesive chaos that cut like lemon juice on an open wound – but in a good way. On the strength of the night’s performance, they can’t come to town soon enough again.

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