If there is one thing hotter than Adelaide's December heatwave, it is surely the opening line-up of bands playing Fat Controller. And the heat showed no signs of wavering on Friday night as surf-punks Dune Rats brought their manic live show to what was surely the hottest basement in the world.
Opening proceedings were enigmatic punks The Beverly Chills. Consisting of only two members, The Beverly Chills rattled through a manic set which shifted from hardcore punk to rap-punk and a Nirvana cover for good measure. As lead singer Twiggy Hunter moved through the sparse crowd trying to embody the spirit of G.G Allin by kissing, spitting and crotch-grabbing audience members, the audience looked bemused. Maybe it was the heat or the feverish changes in style but The Beverly Chills struggled to bring the audience along with them on their frenetic half-hour punk journey. But then again, maybe that’s exactly the point.
As the crowd began to grow so too did the number of band members on stage as Adelaide seven-piece West Thebarton Brothel Party took to the stage to prove why they’re touted as the next big thing. As all of the 28 limbs on stage swung into action during the opening moments of ‘Billions’, the crowd was hooked. It would be easy to write-off the big band sound as a gimmick but live it makes perfect sense. Each member plays an integral role in turning the cogs of the seven-headed noise machine. As lead singer Ray Dalfsen stalks the front row the rest of the band ducks and weaves around flying guitar necks during ‘Chemotherapy’. The closest thing the band took to a break was a quick rendition of happy birthday “…to the Reverend Ray” before smashing through a sensational cover of INXS’ ‘Don’t Change’ which turns the audience into a raucous choir during the chorus. Upcoming single ‘Dolewave’ crunches through the Fat Controller basement as Dalfsen joins the swelling mosh pit. Closing out the set with ‘Glenn McGrath’ as the crowd surfers get up and go into overdrive, it is clear that Adelaide have found their new local heroes.
If music is about having a blast then Dune Rats know all about it. Swaggering onto stage to rapturous applause for their first Australian show since a mammoth US tour with FIDLAR, the energy is palpable. Smashing through opening number ‘Dr Dr’ the band threw themselves around the stage with phenomenal vigour. Without warning they follow-up with ‘Superman’ as bass player Brett Jansch throws himself around so much he loses his lead mid song. “Lets fucking party Adelaide”, quipped lead singer Danny Beusa, as if anyone needed the direction. The undeniably simple-but-catchy ‘Dalai Lama Big Banana Marijuana’ saw the front barrier bend like a banana as the crowd surfers punished the bobbling souls bellow. Somewhat serendipitously the only mid set break for the Dunies was also to sing happy birthday to drummer BC Michaels, who happily obliged by blowing out the candles on his cake before throwing back a shoebrew. In what felt like less than half an hour Dunies rattled through cuts of ‘Fuck It’, ‘Home’sick’ and ‘Red Light/Green Light’ before closing out the set with loose and loud version of ‘Funny Guy’. Shoe-less and shirtless, Dune Rats give a friendly wave to the audience as the leave the stage without an encore. The audience too begins to disperse with much less clothing than what they entered with. While the band knew exactly how to press all of the audience’s buttons as they whipped them into a frenzy, the set seemed to lack the polish which brings out the great pop foundations upon which their songs are built.
But ask anyone in Fat Controller on Friday night and they wouldn’t have cared about the lack of polish. Dune Rats know how to throw one hell of a party and sometimes that's as much as anyone can ask for.