Playing two packed out Enmore Theatres on back to back nights is no small feat and yet, Windang boys Hockey Dad put on a stellar show on the fourth night of the ‘Join the Club’ single tour. The tour is hitting a heap of capital cities and features several all ages dates and sold out a majority of the dates, spurring the dynamic duo to add extra shows in most of the cities. Taking fellow Wollongong wave makers TOTTY and Melbourne Pop Rockers Tiny Little Houses on the road, this tour is set to be a series of shows not to miss.
Opening up the night was the high school power houses Milky Thred. Featuring two members still in high school, the trio from Newcastle didn’t let their age or lack of experience show, owning the stage and the crowd, getting people involved and looking like they were having the best night of their young lives. With a sound that clearly is influenced by the Aussie Surf Punk scene, looking up to bands like Hockey Dad and Skegss, the bands songs were super high energy with catchy hooks and rhythms that just made you want to move. Since dropping their first single in October of 2017 the group have played shows across New South Wales, supporting bands such as Stranger then Friends, Looseleaf IV and The Vanns, they dropped their latest single, ‘Awkward,’ a teen anthem about not feeling like you fit in, just a few weeks ago and are set to have a full on rest of the year with shows with The White Blanks and Fritz coming up in the next couple moths. Milky Thread were very impressive for a group of musicians so young, providing a performance beyond their years and showing the crowd that no matter how old you are, you can still write banger tunes and get the party started.
Up next we had a Wollongong connection with TOTTY gracing the Enmore with their Female fronted Surf Punk. A self described “shed rock” band, the groups working class, down to earth attitudes shone through as front-woman Kelly Jansch, let everyone know what a big deal this was for the band and showing an immense amount of gratitude to the crowd and the other bands, clearly being blown away at the opportunity they have been granted. Playing many crowd favourites from their EP, ‘Cut the Poppies’ released earlier this year as well as a selection of songs from their back catalogue, as the room began to fill up the party definitely kicked into high gear. A particular highlight was the track ‘Bryan’ the story of how someone named Bryan Totty got in contact with the band and asked them to change their name, a request they not only denied but wrote a kick ass song about. This year has been a big one for the Wollongong trio, playing across the East Coast with bands such as RAAVE TAPES, Ruby Fields, and Post Idiots, not to mention heading up to Brisbane for Bigsound just a few weeks ago. With shows coming up with heavy hitters Slowly Slowly, and playing “The best Night Ever” with Ratbag Record label mates Dune Rats and The Gooch Palms, it looks like TOTTY wont be slowing down any time soon.
Melbourne group Tiny Little houses offered a bit of change of pace for the evening, bringing their blend of indie rock and pop to the stage. A little more mellow then the rest of the bands on the line up, the group played a series of songs from their 2017 release, ‘Idiot Proverbs’ with the tracks Short hair, Team Player and the millennial rallying cry Entitled Generation being clear crowd favourites with fans in the room singing along loudly and new listeners getting a taste of what the hype has been about. The front-man Caleb Karvountzis, didn’t have much to say to the Sydney crowd, introducing some songs and letting people know when ‘the sad one’ was but the songs spoke for themselves, the honest and heart-felt lyrics spinning through the melodic and catchy music to form a sweet blend of tunes that tickled the ear drums and warmed the heart. Tiny Little Houses will be playing Yours & Owls in Wollongong in just a few weeks and will be appearing on the rest of the dates for the ‘Join the Club’ tour.
The room goes dark as the crowd start chanting the name of the Illawarra duo and roars erupt as two figures walk out on stage. From the very first chords of ‘Disappoint me’ the crowd was going nuts, especially the younger punters, showing their appreciation for the group playing many all ages shows on this tour. As someone who has seen Hockey Dad a few times in smaller venues and also as someone who makes music out of the Illawarra it was super heart warming to see the local boys play a packed out Enmore. Despite their meteoric rise, Billy and Zach are still every part the down to earth surfers they’ve ever been and while the room, the set up and the crowd are much bigger then the early days the boys genuine good time attitude and the amount of fun they look lithe they’re having on stage has not changed. Another change on this tour is the budget which has let the boys add some of their sense of humour into the show, confetti cannons for the closer ‘So Tired’ showered the floor with enough confetti that I’m sure they’ll be cleaning the room for a week but a highlight was the use of t-shirt cannons, both midway through the set during ‘Raygun’ and at the very end, fired by a range of friends, crew and Wollongong’s own infamous Marty. Another wow moment was the banner drop for the latest single ‘Join the Club’ the song got the whole room moving, the balcony shaking as everyone went nuts, and the Banner at the back of stage that said “Hockey Dad” dropped to reveal “Join the Club” inciting a roar from the crowd. Showcasing the pure amount of hits that the band has come out with the duo played songs from across their collection of releases, with the solo rendition of ‘Two Forever’ and the crowd favourite ‘I want to be Everybody’ being absolute highlights. It’s always a pleasure to watch Hockey Dad play and to see them playing such big stages and sold out shows across the country makes this Wollongong boy a little bit more proud.
Hockey Dad have dates left on the tour in Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane as well as what is sure to be a rowdy set at Yours & Owls on the October long weekend.
Review – Travis Salviejo.