DRIFT w/ GARAGE SALE & GUSH – CANDYLAND TOUR
@ CHERRY BAR, MELBOURNE (AU)
NOVEMBER 4, 2023
Melbourne’s notorious Cherry Bar lit up on tonight, a grungier venue pulsating neon red, glittery red sequence; Cherry is, as advertised, an authentic punk venue! Seeking live music, head upstairs through the dingy low light, and you will find a small dais with seriously warn-out rugs, shiny with glittery red sequence backdrop and an arty hipster crowd; strangely exclusive, or is it? These kids ooze coolness, or are they self-proclaimed losers misunderstood? It’s hard to tell, but their ad-hoc roadie attitude and meddler advice detracted from the overall experience. I purchased a Cherry Bar Lager from the friendly tender and moved into the venue.
Gush, Indie/alt-rock, not 100% satisfied with their set-up, messing with their kit in a true do-it-yourself fashion, channeling post-punk phenomena of the ‘90s; I’m instantly a fan. “Turn the guitar up”, requested the lead vocalist of the sound engineer. “Just turn the amp up!” yelled the meddling crowd. Later, politely exclaiming, “We got some shirts… but I haven’t set them up yet. I didn’t have the banner.” With tracks like “Spew” and “Super Glue”, Gush is undoubtedly finding their way. What stands out is the soft, gentle, angelic vocals of “Clover”. There is something here, a hint of heavy shoegaze – I will seek these guys out in the future, maybe even help them hang their banner.
Garage Sale presents a subdued, somewhat chilled tone, like a lazy Sunday afternoon. I took my time to warm to these guys, with the Valiumesque tracks like “Shoes On” washing over like a warm wave. With only a handful of songs remaining, they eased into their comfort zone, enjoying a suppressed energy. Drums remained problematic throughout, resulting in not one but three issues: the cymbal was then lost. The drummer showed remarkable resilience as he pushed through. He had the backup of Drift drummer Ruben Dragone, attempting to fix the issue.
Drift, hypnotic and alluring, these fellas have the energy to draw a crowd and deserve a bigger platform. Straight from Wollongong, Callum McCombie (vocals), Nelson Thurgate (guitar), Ruben Dragone (drums) and Marley Mondzheyovsky (bass) are unsigned and described as “…creating easy listening material intertwined with emotional soundscapes.” I would undoubtedly agree, but push it further, “I Want You Dead” speaks to me like a mainstream hit. Drift has the energy and passion for success. Thurgate and Dragone represented with intense passion and stood out on the night, thrashing through each track—no pushback from the crowd here.
(Photography by Victoria Love-Rainbow)