Push Over 2012 - Push Start Final
March 10, 2012, Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford.
It was a sunny March morning in Melbourne when Abbotsford Convent began filling up with the screams and excitement of young people for the annual Push Over Festival for 2012, and this year promised to be as big as ever!
Action on the Green Stage started with the final of the FReeZA Push Start Battle of the Bands competition, which saw nine young bands from all across Victoria compete for new gear, music vouchers and, most importantly, a recording and mastering session for three tracks! This was a prize that every act deserved!
Animaux had the hard task of warming up the crowd and getting things going on an - unfortunately - empty stage. Their brand of soul funk sang its way into the hearts and heads of every person fortunate enough to be in the crowd.
Following such a groovy outfit wasn’t an enviable task, but Daydream Arcade were more than up for the challenge when they took to the stage. Their sound was distinctly '70s. It was like listening to the newest of bizarre supergroups, namely a Spandau Ballet and The Jezabels fusion. This odd mix certainly had effect: their set really captured the audience.
The Brass Monkeys changed the mood completely with their delightfully jazzy funk. Donning fantastic costumes including top hats, sunglasses and groovy jackets, the band played through six-minute jazz-rock fusion pieces that had my head spinning.
After that it was time for another rock band and western Metropolitan boys Granston Display were more than ready to fill the role. While experimental in nature, the sound was still accessible and, as the band’s bio suggested, the audience’s ears were certainly smiling!
Next up were Barwon South West boys Altitude! The lads had a real stage presence as their front man played rip-roaring guitar solos and developed a witty rapport with the audience. If I didn’t know better I’d have said that these guys were The Vines in disguise because their tight rock and roll was that contagious.
It was time for a second arcade, this time Paper Arcade, to take to the stage. Unlike the previous arcade, this one was there for the rock fans. You could hear an obvious influence from Queens of the Stone Age as they busted out a killer, headbanging set.
Next up was what could only be described as this generation's Frenzal Rhomb: Captain Custard. The atmosphere changed a serious rock concert into a massive party as their infectious lyrics had everybody laughing and dancing along.
For those who thought that grunge was dead: you are wrong. Pete Jones rocked the stage with their grunge-rock fusion and displayed some really sophisticated songwriting while maintaining the rawness that defines their genre.
The last Battle of the Bands competitor to play was Hally, the only metal band of the day. They had obvious support as the room filled with angry youths starting mosh pits and cheering their name long after they completed their set.
While the judges deliberated, it was time for another band. Anyone who has paid attention to youthcentral in the last month will be aware of a little band called Brooklyn. These guys rocked the socks off the audience and charmed what had been primarily an indie crowd.
When it came to the announcement of the winner of the Battle of the Bands, there was real tension in the crowd, who all had their bets in different places. My head thought that the day would go to either The Brass Monkeys or Altitude, but my heart wanted all of the bands to win. When Altitude took out the prize there was rapturous applause from everyone in the audience.
After the announcement, Money for Rope took to the stage to begin the closing of the day, before a very exciting act was scheduled to play. Snakadaktal were up and, having previously won Triple J’s Unearthed High competition, had big shoes to fill. Their brand of indie rock melted every person in the room, and when they played "Chimera" the crowd went ballistic!
Finally, closing the stage for the day were the very hyped Red Ink. Having experienced their amazing live shows previously, I was very excited when they busted out a set of indie pop-rock wonders. Their new sound is a large departure from old tracks like "Audrey" and "An Elaborate Plan to Run Away". That being said, tracks like "Lovers in Stockholm" make me eagerly anticipate the new record.
And with that the Push Over done for another year.
Kudos is deserved by all of the unsigned "battler" bands. I look forward to seeing where they all go from here. I also look forward to the next Push Over!
4 out of 5.