LIVE: Tired Lion, The Hard Aches, Creo @ Newtown Social Club, Sydney, 21st May

Guitars are dead? Someone forgot to tell these three brilliant bands.

The last time I saw Creo, I remember feeling like I’d been yelled at a lot, but in an enjoyable way. This time, the enjoy dial just buries itself in the red and stays there. Don’t get me wrong, this is shouty stuff and their singer is often extremely cross about something and really, really wants to tell us about it, but the tunes… Holy cow, they’re meaty. I was delighted to find out they were playing tonight and now I’m genuinely looking forward to the album. Belting.

For context, I’ve been two feet away from Bob Mould playing the opening chords to “Flip Your Wig”. I mention it because when the opening chords of The Hard Aches‘ “Glad That You’re Gone” are struck up, the hairs on the back of my neck go up, and you now appreciate that I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. For that reason alone, I instantly fall in love with this band. That, and because literally every single one of their songs fires off the joy neurons in my head. Oh, and because each track is pumping and full of blood and loud as hell. And because they’re a two-piece that sound bigger than a five-piece. On a truck. On top of a train. Crashing into a building. And exploding.

Oh, and then there’s the BLOODY SONGS. It’s like the Lemonheads doing Smith Street Band doing…. oh fuck it. NEW FAVOURITE BAND. Done.

You may be wondering whether Tired Lion deserved the Unearthed award they bagged last year. You may be wondering whether the Dew Process label (part of the gigantonormous Universal family) made a sane choice in signing them. Anyone who showed up on the door might even have be wondering whether $25 was a sensible amount of money to pay for an Australian band at the Newtown Social Club. Anyone who wondered any of these things is swiftly corrected within bars of Tired Lion’s opening song.

This is big tune territory with even bigger guitars attached, great swooping pterodactyls of song resurrected from the DNA of 90s grunge bands, then spliced with something with teeth for a bit of excitement. Singer Sophie is the ringmaster of this whole circus and plays us all like a damn fiddle. When she jokes, we laugh; when she roars with superb voice, we roar right back; when she directs the front rows to send the girls to the front row or to organise ourselves for a selfie, everyone goes right where they’re supposed to.

It’s a hell of a show all round – genuine star potential, huge tunes, and a maestro with the crowd, and all without a whiff of ego or a hint of douchery. Fantastic stuff.


Tired Lion


The Hard Aches