AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS
Enmore Theatre, August 12
You were grinning from the word go, and held it all the way to the last there’s-a-riot-going-on song, 70 minutes later, when the support band, friends, large bottles of what may well have been/should have been Reschs Dinner Ale, and a camera dodging flailing limbs and butting heads, packed the stage and turned it into someone’s living room at about 1am when the party favours have really kicked in.
You stopped counting songs ‘round about 19 or 20 because it seemed pointless to keep up at the rate they were pumping them out during a set where a “change of pace” was the equivalent of dabbing the brakes on the motorway to keep you just under 110. Though you did wonder how Amyl And The Sniffers, who are called a punk band for the speed and simplicity, have escaped the quasi-metal tag given Dec Martens’s angular guitar, regular tripwire solos and a fondness for throwing guitar hero shapes (including behind his head).
You worked up a sweat even though you are some distance from the mosh - or wriggling quagmire of flesh and sweat, flying shirts and a bra, a couple of stray boots, and occasionally a body, as it might better be described. And you had idly wondered what sort of reception you might get at home later if you arrived sing-shouting “Take me to the beach, take me to the country/Climb in the backseat if you love me”, right into your loved one’s face. I mean, it works a treat for Amy Taylor.
Ok, sure you won’t have even a quarter of her energy or barely half of her attitude - though you will be wearing two or three times the clothing that shirtless bassplayer Fergus Romer (think a less inhibited Luke McGregor) and shorts/no top drummer Bryce Wilson (imagine a tattooed love god halfback gone feral,) sported most of the show – but it’s got to be worth a try, eh?
What’s more, all of that stuff makes sense. Like the unlikely but true fact my friend noted of Taylor: she stalks the stage like a punchdrunk boxer doing Mark “Jacko” Jackson calisthenics and seems so loose and seconds away from disaster, but absolutely nails every beat, every line.
And does it with a melon-eating grin of her own and a bugger this for a game of soldiers charisma.
Yeah, they’re alright these Sniffers.
A version of this review was originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald.