LIVE: FREEDOM ft The Gooch Palms, Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, 14th Jan

Sydney live music institution The Oxford Art Factory ¬†is turning ten years old later this year (save the date for the mother of all birthday parties in October…), and¬†tonight marks part one of the year-long celebrations, a collaboration with the excellent Volumes team of ten bands, all for free.


Iffy shows up with two Grim Reapers flanking him, but there’s nothing here but life-affirming and witty electronic pop. The laptop delivers some chewy beats and bleeps, while the guitar adds some spikier texture, Iffy’s wry humour floating over the top.



Seeing Body Type twice in a week just isn’t a chore, and seeing them on a larger stage than usual is a genuine pleasure. While still a project in its early stages, it feels like they’ve been doing this a lot longer. Honestly, I could watch them every week.



There’s only three White Blanks, but they make a noise far larger than that. The guitar in particular is just huge, roaring around the venue like a rhino, tune after tune crashing off the walls.



The eleven-headed beast of Joesph Liddy & The Skeleton Horse change the pace tonight, soothing the beastly crowd with soulful and jazz-tinged flavours. With that many band members, you’d expect it to sound like a mess, but it’s impressively well put-together, a loose vibe permeating a tight set.



Imperial Broads are troubled with technical issues tonight, but it takes nothing away from an ice-cool outfit. The attitude is pin-sharp with a hint of playfulness, and the songs are tightly-wound and precise. Arch, well-tailored and dead, dead cool, I’m looking forward to seeing them again.



There’s love in the room for Melbourne’s Pearls, and any newcomers to them quickly catch up. Instantly engaging, it’s got real heft in the songwriting, which veers from glam-ish stomps to stadium-sized guitar-pop. A band with gravitas, and an impeccable sense of performance.



Felix Lush used to be in the three-guitar attack of Bearhug, but this project is far more bloopy. The guitars still soar, but the backing is bedroom-electronic, charming in its seeming simplicity, shy but filling the room even so.



The excitement for Middle Kids is palpable, and, from note one, they both justify it and raise the bar even further. Both old and brand new tracks fire up the crowd in equal measure, proving that Middle Kids aren’t going places – they’re already there. Where they go next will surely be a sight to behold.



The Gooch Palms are greeted like the old friends they are, and it’s always a dirty pleasure to have them back. Blisteringly loud tonight, we get the full party-version tonight, Crowdsurfing from the off, and mayhem down the front. Joyously bonkers, and with songs like skyscrapers, only the soulless couldn’t enjoy this.