Kingswood, The Sinking Teeth live
We sent photographer/reviewer Damon Collum along to Newtown Social Club in Sydney to check out Melbourne alt-rockers Kingswood and support act The Sinking Teeth:
After having seen some ‘lighter’ acts of late I was starting to crave something with teeth; a steady diet of folk-pop and electronic had left me a little bit washed-out. If you asked, I’d be one of those people who’d say I enjoyed part of the “good ol’ days” in Sydney with Zen Genies, Hard Ons and a host of classic rock punk bands and good venues, and who thinks perhaps some of that is now dead. I got in under-age to any and all venues you could think of and spent many nights half-concussed from stagediving and drinking cheap canned beer stolen from my parents’ garage. Good times indeed.
Last night was like being in a super clean and high-class version of the Iron Duke, with air con and polished toilets, but with two bands that would have been equally at home thrashing it out in the aforementioned “good ol’ days”. Only, the crowd was substantially more subdued (just a cheer or two or a subtle rock back and forth in time to the music) but otherwise no less enthusiastic. Besides, the stage was 15cm high and not even the most vertically challenged human was going to get any joy from it.
The Sinking Teeth came on first and there were about thirty people in the crowd. If not for one or two encouraging cheers or claps, they could have been at a beat poet’s recital, drinking wine and feeling connected to dark urban stories of disaffected youth. Fuck, these guys were really good though. They deserved at least to have someone leap from the speakers, a few chairs through windows and girls swinging drunk from the shoulders of punks and skins in the front row.
I’m bald as fuck, but in spirit I was thrashing my hair back and forth. The drummer was ‘nuts’ good, best I’ve heard in a long time and the others were tight as. A hugely enjoyable gig.
These guys had a great attitude, a sense of humour and humility and just reminded me what is good about the Australian music scene and hard working bands. Hopefully they get the recognition they deserve and touring with Kingswood helps to boost their profile.
There was a break whilst roadies did roadie shit and all the gear was set up for Kingswood, after which the band came on to some weird-sounding electro with disco lights. Since I really didn’t know what to expect, this was an odd introduction. In the same time it took for the roadies to have whipped away the gear, a small gaggle of photographers had rocked up and all had jostled for front row. Personally, I just became infatuated with bassist Mango Hunter and how he was the most photogenic fucker I had seen in ages, and my camera just ate him like a juicy tropical fruit. It also helped that from my stage-right perspective he was about the only one I could truly get decent focus or shots of.
From the get go, the door personnel had kindly informed me it was ‘three songs, no flash, then leave’ for Kingswood… which I have to say is pretty much par for the course these days and fair enough. Newtown Social Club is not a mammoth venue and it was sold out. Add to that, eight photographers just cramming the front of stage aiming big lenses at the bad at almost eye-level and firing for three songs straight… I’d be saying ‘fuck out of the way’ after three songs too.
At the almost third song mark, Fergus Linacre generously remarked that the crowd needn’t stay behind the front row of shooters and should at the very least mingle because we are nice people. This was good because the crowd did then surge forth and get into things a bit more and got the vibe a bit more happening.
Kingswood were good. If I’d been able to stay shooting longer I’d probably pour myself a drink and regale you with the whole thing. Alas, after song three, and having had a pole position at front of stage, I packed up as I was asked and made my way out so the faithful could get right up and personal with the gig.
They were a class act. Tight cohesion, great music and Fergus has lots of stage presence and charisma which had more than just a few of the young ladies swooning along. I’ll definitely grab a copy of their work for more of a listen in the future.
Live review and photos by Damon Collum.