How we fell in love with Sydney’s music scene: An ode to the Idiots

14 December 2017

How we fell in love with Sydney’s music scene: An ode to the Idiots

Image credit: Carl Neumann (Rolling Stone Magazine Australia)

A while back, we were on our way to see Pist Idiots, a Western Sydney-based garage-rock band and one of our favourite local acts.

After awkwardly bumbling our way through Newtown with a stomach full of nerves and a terrible navigation app leading us into unknown territory, we finally arrived at the gig.

Puffing from running and jittery with nerves, we had instantly become deer in the headlights as we watched Pist Idiots play their first set.

We were transported into the world depicted in “Booze Blues”, one of the band’s originals. We were overcome with mixed emotions of happiness and heartbreak. It appeared we were oblivious to the gig’s etiquette — while everyone stood, gently swaying or bobbing their heads, we were jumping up and down and bumping into each other with smiles plastered on our faces. We simply couldn’t believe what we had just stumbled upon.

That was the first night of many that we, two girls from the mountains, would spend being invigorated by Sydney’s unique and thriving music scene. So, we feel we owe it to the Pisties for making our first glimpse into the Sydney music scene such a good one!

Jumping forward to the 2nd of December, the boys were on the final leg of their Hot tour. Finishing back in Sydney, we knew we had to see them play. The show had sold out so quickly as these guys are gaining traction, and for very good reason!

We had missed an earlier train (we just don’t learn sometimes), so running from Museum Station to Darlinghurst we were positive we would miss CROTCH, the opening act for the night and an absolute killer band we love to catch live. Devastated, but hopeful we would catch at least their last song, we powered on.

After getting shouted at by some girls for running across the road (we appreciate their concern for our safety), we climbed up the stairs to see the band were still setting up and tuning. It was a remarkable feeling of relief.

Kicking off the night with vigour, CROTCH certainly delivered the goods. We were in awe of this band because they were so different to anything we had experienced before. Their style of performance and format makes us think back to the B-52s in a way, with an avant-garde rock sound and extremely enticing vocals. With a metallic and acidic feel, the love-shack-on-crack band became a source of so much joy for us.

One of the highlights of this set for us was hearing their recently released single “Bad Witch” played live. Everything about this song, from the rocksteady beat to the punchy vocals is fantastic, and just wonderful to see live.

As the set continued, we became more and more enthralled by the music CROTCH played. They kept us moving and dancing the entire set. The presence of this large group on stage was contagious.

To close their electricifying set, CROTCH played their own take on ACDC’s “TNT”, ending on a high with the awesome prowess of vocal and instrumental talent displayed. We cannot wait to see CROTCH play in Sydney again; as always, their set left us wanting more.

Before the next act, D12 was being blasted on the floor of the venue. Of course, we had to have a sing and dance to “Purple Hills”. We quickly made our way back to the main attraction of the time and next act of the night, Miniskirt.

These guys scream pub rock at its finest.

Coming to us from where the band currently call home in Byron Bay, they absolutely spearheaded the stage and lit up the small bar, completely dominating the space. Recently, the guys had been selected to work with rock legends and cult favourites Cosmic Psychos, as they were recognised for their talent and raw energy, so we knew they were going to be amazing.

The guys played lots of their well-known, well-loved stuff, which was much to the punters’ delight; many singing and dancing, not missing a single beat or word.

The band also tapped into their newly released EP 7inch, which was what we were living for. A standout from the new album was “Holiday”; the upbeat guitar riff paired with Jacob’s powerful voice made for an enjoyable couple of minutes.

“Dying Majority” was another personal favourite and standout for us, and what was used to wrap up the set. The song is one that really struck a chord. What we love about it is how it brings out Miniskirt’s core sound of pub/punk rock and communicates a brilliant message. It was a perfect note to end on for the guys and left us feeling great.

Then came the main attraction — Pist Idiots. The room was buzzing and the excitement was infectious. You couldn’t help but grin with anticipation and want to get in on the action.

While waiting we were chatting with other punters, who like us were eagerly waiting. We me a girl who had come all the way from Newcastle to see the guys play because she loved them so much, citing them as her favourite band.

The set started with the guys from Revesby knocking into a punchy and powerful ballad. With a roar of pure delight, the audience began to reciprocate the energy that was resonating from the stage, dancing, jumping and moshing.

An early standout of the set for us was a song that is yet to be released, and from memory was called “Highways”. The song was an eloquent fusion of rock and surf punk; we know it’ll be a hit!

It was so fun to see the hold the guys had on the audience. This was made apparent during hit release “99 Bottles”. The pure vulnerability and honesty of the lyrics are what make it so relatable, and for that reason, so loveable. Not to leave out the hard-hitting drum line, and guitar which just pumped so much into the packed song. It was great to watch so many people singing along, their eyes glued to the stage, their world had stopped for that moment and that was all that mattered.

As the set continued, the magic that is Pist Idiots only seemed to grow and grow.

Punters hung on every word and bass, guitar and drum line, almost subconsciously. Sam, in a fit of euphoria and appreciation for the music smacked her head into the headstock of guitarist, Joe’s, guitar.

Just as quickly as the set started it seemed to be all over, finishing with cover on the classic hit, “Ca plane pour moi”.

We lost a lot of things that night; an earring, key card and some false eyelashes. However, we did walk away with a great many bruises, and a new-found respect not only for Pist Idiots, but also Miniskirt and CROTCH.

We always get nostalgic when we look back at the first time we ever saw the Idiots play (not too long ago but still nostalgic none the less); what is so good about them is that we still get the same excitement and joy from seeing them play now. We know this feeling is widespread with so many others, and we simply can’t wait to see what happens next for these guys.