So I got to live the dream and see the beautiful Camp Cope! And with so many friends as well! Managed to shuffle my short-arse self to (almost) the front. They had such a presence as they came on, everyone was just losing it. And as much as they have that rock star stance and swagger, they still looked so chuffed to be standing in front of us all, which is just such a fantastic vibe for a band to project.
Opening with ‘Done’, it was a sea of punk-loving girls jumping up and down and screaming every lyric. The most touching feeling washed over The Basement as we felt that instrumental break to raise our fists and scream “I only want to be like you, because sister, I admired you.” It was such a feeling that I looked around and watched as these beautiful fans in the crowd were weeping but still sporting the biggest smiles on their euphoric faces.
We were also blessed with some very impressive support acts.
Worriers, a punk band from Brooklyn, NY, were such a captivating bunch. A very dreamy and melodic take on the punk genre, their instrumentals were simply divine and Lauren Denitzio is a beautiful singer and songwriter. As they played their latest single, ‘Gaslighter’, I fell a little more in love with them. They have a full-length album called Imaginary Life which has been described as “a masterfully created punk record” by the Village Voice. Check them the fuck out, people.
We also got to indulge in some of The Last Exposure (SYD) on this amazingly empowering night. They always play so well. Chelsea is a master at singing to her audience, and Hayley, Nathan, and Jake are all just so good at what they do.
They only negative I’ll say for the night is that I do kind of wish there was at least one local act on the bill. It would have been a huge deal for an up and coming female punk band, such as Teen Jesus and The Jean Teasers, to be able to say “Yeah, I played with Camp Cope. Isn’t that unreal?” but c’est la vie. Maybe next time.
Helena Pop had a really banging EP launch at Phoenix entitled ‘Post-Apocalyptic’, playing with Slagatha Christie and Lost Coast. This was my first Lost Coast experience, my second being only a week later at the Sign & Symbols gig, and I was super impressed. I haven’t seen a lot of bands like them in Canberra before. Reminded me of my days in the old Phoenix watching Fossil Rabbit, but on a more magnified scale, as Fossil Rabbit was a solo act. Highly recommend checking out Lost Coast if you’re an appreciator of amazing instrumentals.
Slagatha Christie, I mean, c’mon, you’ve heard me gush about them a million times now. You know that I love them. Their costumes at this gig were a little frightening I must admit. Jess and Kate donning body-suits with enlarged faces of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. Apparently Stephen was supposed to be wearing Donald Trump, but it hadn’t arrived yet. Boo!
And Helena Pop. What can I say except “this is what punk rock is”. Every gig you folks perform at The Phoenix is just a big, sweaty, sing-a-long for all your Canberra fam and it’s always so much fun, so thank you for the good times. That was the biggest, smelliest group hug I’ve ever been in and I fucking loved every second.
Must mention, Azim Zain and His Lovely Bones have released some tunes! Beautiful tracks that have been masterfully recorded with some very stunning cover art, Between Who We Are and Who We Used To Be is a must-have to add to your Canberra collection and is still being toured around the country.
Also, on the topic of local releases, Jim Dusty’s Taking Inventory will have been released by the time this issue is printed and I’m sure it’s going to be magic. And I really have to have one of the new Black Flag-inspired shirts he’s been teasing us with on his social media pages. They are amazing and I’ll take ten thank you very much.
Punk Gig Guide:
Sat Oct 14 – Bleach it Clean, Signs & Symbols, Ambulare, House of Strangers @ The Front Gallery and Café
Sat Oct 14 – Teen Jesus and The Jean Teasers & Friends w/ Dalmacia, Hopeless Youth Group, Neon Highways and Michael Malone – LoBrow Gallery & Bar
Sat Oct 28 – Nightmare on East Row II: Electric Boogaloo w/ Azim Zain and His Lovely Bones, Rachel Maria Cox, Jacob, Raised As Wolves, Dalmacia and Capes – The Phoenix
Fri Nov 3 – Babyfreeze EP launch w/ Coolio Desgracias & Housemouse, The Norah Jones Half Hour and devdsp – LoBrow Gallery & Bar
Sat Nov 4 – Heart Beach, Passive Smoke, House of Strangers, Little Lunch – The Phoenix