Written by Kit Lindsey
Let it be known, I love The Bennies. Maybe it’s the context of there music, maybe it’s the content either way there’s no doubting when The Bennies do a gig, it’s sure to be a riot.
I discovered The Bennies in my mid teens and at first I wasn’t sure about my thoughts on their sound. In theory it was perfect, Rasta stoner punk for the Melbourne gunja gremlin but something about the aussie accent was mildly off putting for my ears that were a little too used to the likes of Blink 182 and Sum 41 but as time went on I realised that that’s what made The Bennies so great. No longer was punk like an episode of Degrassi High, punk was now in the halls of my local school and the feeling of relating to a genre on a geographical level was amazing. It opened my eyes to so many other great Melbourne performers like Baro and The Smith Street Band that prior to my time with the Heavy Disco goers I would probably have passed by without a second thought.
I feel there is a concept in a lot of music listens minds that quality relies exclusively on the budget and name value. That a Drake or a Sia song will indefinitely have a better sound than someone like Keggin or Methyl Ethyl and the reality is it’s all in the ear of the beholder. A good example of this the song One Dance by Drake, this song was created through the collaboration of eight writers and three producers and three vocalists. Think about the funding that would have had to go into creating a song like that, and because of that the song had to be pushed, if a label pays for something like that they want it to be worth their money and it was, the song was a number one hit. Saying that the song Golden by aussie artist Szymon which in my opinion equals the quality of one dance was created by one guy in his room with the limited recording and producing tech he had. The reality is that gems aren’t always found in jewellery shops, they can be found in the rough, even in the dive bars of Melbourne and I think that’s what makes The Bennies so great. They may not be everyone’s cup of Mushroom Tea but to those in the scenes, they really do show us what a great local band should be. Enjoyable and worth the entry fee, I can guarantee that many a number one hitter haven’t quite reached that mark in their career at one point or another.
As I entered the venue the greeting of two stripper poles was certainly a sign that this would be a location to remember. We were then led up stairs to a room that had a late 70s polka club vibe completed by the exposed wooden roof framing and the blue stone display wall, not to mention the stage extension that gave room for any great piano accordion player of yesteryear to have his moment in the limelight and bust out a brain melting polka solo. I did begin to wonder what the original use of this venue was from the two rooms I had walked through. As my partner said at on point during the night; the style of the crowd seemed as though they had found them selves stoned in the 70’s and decided to maintain the look all the way through to 2019, don’t get me wrong the crowd was still littered with local band shirts of all genres but there was certainly a vibe, and it was splendid.
Maybe it’s that I’m not familiar with either bands catalogues but Bakers Eddy may have been doing Arctic Monkeys / Strokes cover set and I honestly wouldn’t have known. Understand this is in no way a stab at any of the bands, the sound was awesome, the energy was magnificent and they certainly proved my diamond in the rough theory well and truly.
As the evening hours ticked on and the crowd emerged from the shadows of the CBD, Whitney Huston began blaring to the crowds delight and with the the roar of the MC the announcement that evening feature was now here. And so did come The Bennies, glorious grins, flowing hair, scruffy beards and enough support to make Braveheart shake in his boots ,the show began! Within seconds the crowd was bouncing and moshing as far as the eye could see and by song three the mighty cana-cloud began to puff away from the centre of the viewers.
I said before and I’ll say it again, it really is hard not to have a great time at a gig like this, great energy, great crowd and some of the best music one could find on the streets of Melbourne on the 18th of January 2019.
Written by Kit Lindsey
Photo Credit The Bennies Facebook page.