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Gig joins Hunter Folklore

Gig joins Hunter Folklore

What: Silverchair Gig With Top Local Support Acts

THE SILVERCHAIR gig this month will go down in Newcastle folklore as the one that launched the careers of five hot Newcastle bands.

Some 7000 voices shouted in unison 'we are the youth, we are the youth' half a dozen times before Daniel Johns launched into the chorus of ANTHEM FOR THE YEAR 2000, the only song of the band's only encore.

It was the same crowd that roared in appreciation when the lights dropped and ENERTIA, a band of relatively unknown Newcastle teenagers, took to the stage at 6pm and rocked through a blistering set of grungey songs with interesting vocal melodies.

The second band of unknowns, PERSONAL CHOICE, a hardcore punk act, bravely blasted through its set of three-chord tirades but like Enertia squandered its opportunity in between songs to interact with the audience.

It didn't matter.

A lack of experience at working a crowd was made up for with a huge live sound through the Ent Cent PA that sent chills through the spine and left a lump in the throat of this reviewer.

Band three, STRENGTH TO STRENGTH, playing in tonight's XPOZAY grand final at SJ's Hotel, were the first emerging act on the night to really get the audience moving, with its PRIMUS-inspired mix of funk'n'groove, silly lyrics and moshable rhythms.

Though THE AFTERTHOUGHTS may have under-capitalised on between-song banter, they got straight to the point with some powerful, 1970s-inspired rock that was lean'n'mean, if a little old school for the younger crowd.

All bands ignited varying measures of the mosh pit on the night but none as well as ARMY OF PRAWNS, featuring Junior Space Cadet HEATH JOHNS on lead vocals.

Only Strength To Strength fully engaged the crowd between songs ... until Heath (younger brother of silverchair's Daniel) shone with a sense of humour that could only be described as way out there.

'Helloooo. I'm Mr Ele-phant. I am an ele-phant,' Johns boomed mischievously to the tickled crowd, spouting nonsense apparently straight off the top of his head.

Wearing a piece of headgear shaped like BLINKY the three-eyed cod from THE SIMPSONS, the absurdist Johns was the perfect choice to pump up the crowd before the main act.

Army Of Prawns' hip-hop stylings and original 'chunk funk' tunes titled WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH RICE and I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT BUTTER, were reminiscent of SWOOP or JAMIROQUAI on SMARTIES. The future of Newcastle original music is in loony hands and is all the safer for it.

Lookout for the next all-ages gig featuring Army Of Prawns and The Afterthoughts at Club Delirium on Friday, August 27.

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