You cannot download a live gig experience. This was clearly evident at The Armidale Club on Wednesday the 27th of March. The night was the second night of a tour organised by Mitch Whaley, lead singer of the band Staunch. Drumming up support for some local bands, this tour was to spread the word about all the bands that played, and also to advertise the upcoming album for the band One Vital Word. The jam-packed tour took Staunch and One Vital Word to Tamworth, Armidale, Lismore, Coffs Harbour and Grafton: 5 shows in as many days. It just goes to show how important the live scene still is today in our digital world. The crowd was meandering in to the homey venue, with its newly upgraded stage: decked out to look a little tougher in line with the music. This is where the magic is said to happen and no surprise it was felt in the Armidale Club that night.
Staunch were up first: I had been lucky enough to chat with people who had seen Staunch before and I thought I knew what I was getting into. The lights dimmed, the guys got on stage and the crowd stood around the dancefloor.
They were channelling Minor threat, bad brains, T.S.O.L, Adolescents, The Germs and many others. They threw themselves around and got into the crowd. They weren’t there for people to tap their foot, they were there to get inside your head and make it hard to forget the live show. Their set had a lot of “moments”; like Mitch jumping on the back of a person in the crowd and them running around while he screamed. Even the interaction between the band members exacerbated the passion in the style of music. People were left at the end of the set pumped, keen and ready for what else was to come.
Fresh Nelson hit the stage next. They used the energy drummed up by the Staunch boys and really flooded the stage with their sound. These guys were keen to play a high quality show as it would be their last before heading to Tommirock Studios in Newcastle to record. They definitely did that, and the antics kept flowing. In an interview on Tune!FM’s Guerrilla Radio, Mitch from Staunch mentioned how bands like these love to interact with the crowd. This was proven throughout the night.
Last up was One Vital Word from Newcastle. They were tight, they were connected. They really brought home the night in style.
They finished off the night and that is when most people realised the energy had been peaking for almost 2 and a half to 3 hours. It felt like the night was a big success for the Armidale/New England hardcore/punk scene and also for the Armidale club in general. Hopefully we can get some of these guys back and start to kick off a scene in which people have the chance to voice their passions/concerns.
- Bren Kirkpatrick