[REVIEW] Ceres + Press Club + Jacob // Landsdowne Hotel // 26/10/18

After a year’s worth of writers block Melbourne based Pop/Rock/Emo/Punk outfit Ceres are back. On tour for the new single ‘Viv in the Front Seat’ which released early August, the fans have showed that they are hungry for music, selling out all four shows of their East Coast run. They have taken fellow Melbourne powerhouse Press Club on the road and had some incredibly stacked lineups, showcasing the talent in the emerging Emo Rock scene that Australia has.

Opening the Sydney show was the Wollongong/Newcastle group Jacob. The fun-loving five piece have just dropped two new singles and have a record coming out in the first week of November via Resist. Their set was a blend of stuff from the original EP and the forthcoming release. Playing to a decent sized crowd who had come out early, the boys played with their signature frantic style, showing incredible energy and a love for what they do. Each song takes you on a ride as they will often go from a stripped back, heartfelt outpouring to a balls-to-the-wall, makes-you-jump, anthemic hook that will be stuck in your head for a week. The group seem to have a new edge to their sound, with some of the new tracks featuring the synth which has been added to their live shows recently. Some of the new tracks seem to be a bit heavier than the feel good Emo we have come to expect from the group. Highlights from the set were the quality onstage banter, the boys relate to the crowd just like they’re your mates at the pub, as well as the new singles ‘The Rain King’ and ‘Baby, I’m a Blockhead’ with the crowd showing that they have been listening by singing along, and the closer, the 2017 single ‘How Long Until You’re Next To Me?’  – the song that many associate with the band had the whole room singing along. There were many raised rockfists, cause we felt it when they dropped hits.

Melbourne four piece pop-punkers Press Club have an incredibly busy year with no signs of stopping. The band have been working DIY and independent since their inception and debut album in March 2018 but that hasn’t kept them in the shadows by any means, touring with the likes of The Smith Street Band and playing Yours and Owls Festival. Watching Press Club perform is an experience that has to be lived to be fully understood. The band comes with such energy that immediately sparks in any room they play in. Bad-ass front woman Nat Foster is an incredible performer with a stare that makes it feel like she is singing each song to you. Nat’s skill as a front woman is only magnified by the three other incredible members of the group, all four of them working together to bring songs that go from an intense raw energy to a stripped back serenade. Despite some technical issues with the bass rig, the group sounded great with the guitar tones changing, even a couple of times a song as Greg Rietwyk switches from broad sweeping chords to intense solo lines. Working in conjunction with bass player Rufio MacRae the harmonic brilliance of the songs shone through. Sydney showed that it was a fan of Press Club, getting rowdy and moving, losing it’s mind when Nat came into the crowd, singing along in the quiet moments of ‘Crash’ and knowing when the group would be in Sydney next.

Press Club are just about to go on a headlining tour playing an incredible sixteen shows before the year is over in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, A.C.T. and South Australia, meaning they are probably going to be near you, go check them out.

After Press Club had cleared the stage there was a bizarre drone that seemed to get more intense the closer it got to the headliners taking the stage. It was kind of strange but seemed to get the room buzzing in anticipation. The room was packed to the lighting rigs as the band walked out and from the first notes of ‘Roll Ur Eyes’ the crowd was singing along. Playing hit after hit from their back catalogue, the crowd only got more into it as the set rolled on. By the time the group played the popular ‘I Feel Fine, I Feel Sick’ and ‘Choke’  front man Tom Lanyon could spend a majority of the song off mic with the crowd screaming the words to him. Tom was clearly touched by the love the group was shown, repeatedly telling the crowd we sounded awesome and having a massive smile on his face. The group also dealt with the crowd getting rowdy really well, checking that everyone was feeling safe, okay, and having a good time. They also made sure to flag the songs that were particularly “bummers” and ask how the crowd was going, but the crowd seemed to know what it was getting into. I have never seen a crowd so passionate as it sang the words, “If I told you I want to die, would you come then?” There were some beautifully intimate moments through the set. For the tracks ‘Spinning Wheel’ ‘Upwey, Tecoma, Belgrave’ and the first in their encore stack ‘Okay’, the group stripped it back, to just the two guitars and Tom’s vocals. You can feel the emotion that comes through in every Ceres song but particularly in those moments there is something special. In a very cool, very special moment Nat from Press Club joined Ceres on stage singing alongside the band for ‘Stretch Your Skin’. The band did make fun of the fact that after their “last song” that they were just going to go sit side stage for a couple of minutes, catch their breath and come back and this charm and down to earth attitude came through the entire night. Earlier in the nght Nat proclaimed Ceres the best band in Australia, it’s a big call, but after seeing them play live they definitely have to join the conversation.

Review – Travis Salviejo
Photo – Ivan Souriyavong