LIVE: Royal Chant, Julia Why?, The Citizens @ Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, 8th Jan

It’s a New Year, the sun’s been out, and it’s Friday night, all at the same time.

The CitizensThe Citizens are just right for this. Every tune is full of the joys of youth, a blue sky, and the night stretching out ahead of you. It’s a bit too close to The Kooks for comfort at times, but that is one tight act, and there are moments of utter joy when they let it go, the sound just fills up the room and covers us all in slightly salty, fast-going-red, sand-in-your-underwear good times. Nicely done.

See a full photo set of The Citizens here 

Julia Why?

Always a dead-set favourite around these parts, Julia Why? would have to try bloody hard to disappoint, and tonight – sure enough – they just don’t try hard enough. “Painkillers” is as spiky and full-strength as ever, “Flowers” is as lazily dirty as we expected, and every other damn song just brims with tingling fizz and jagged pleasures. Seriously, try harder next time.

See a full photo set of Julia Why? hereRoyal Chant

I come to the show tonight almost completely new to Royal Chant, except for some repeated listens to “Dick Move”, which is not only the greatest record about drunks on Sydney’s Oxford Street ever, but is also the first song they play. The rest of the set simply blurs into one, a massive pile-up of glorious noise, Replacements-ish tunes built around buzzsaw guitars and crafty onstage banter. It is thoroughly and impressively brilliant.

As beer is spilled and sweat is sprayed, the set gets both looser and tighter, which makes no sense with hindsight, but which makes perfect sense in the thick of it. Look, this is why everyone should start a band, so you can have this much fun. The last song even contains the line “Fuck your disco. And fuck you too.” I’m in love.

See a full photo set of Royal Chant here