LIVE REVIEW: Nuggets, Antipodean Interpolations @ Paradiso 25/01/13


Forty years ago, a compilation was released titled Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era: 1965-1968. It was made up of 27 different bands and artists hailing from America, establishing a circulation of sweet sounds, depicting what we now know as garage rock.

Thanks to Warner Music Australia, Nuggets has been rendered, respectfully, to celebrate it’s fortieth year of existence. With the help of 27 Australian garagey punks and rockers, the original compilation has been completely covered by like-minded bands such as Velociraptor, Palms, Straight Arrows, The Laurels, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and The Frowning Clouds [to name a few] and can be found under the name of Nuggets: Antipodean Interpolations Of The First Psychedelic Era.

To further celebrate this celebratory release, Sydney Festival put on a show at the temporary space known as Paradiso in Sydney’s Town Hall.

It featured a handful of bands playing half an hour sets, including their contribution to the freshly released Nuggets compilation.

Accompanied not only by the beautiful space that is Paradiso, but also by the lively visual projections located behind them leaking a flux of shapes, colours and kaleidoscopic patterns, the night that was put together last Friday, 25th January by Sydney Festival for FBi Night was constructed so well, it’s a shame it cannot be done every week!

BLOODS opened the night with their set comprised of fun, short-but-sweet tunes. After playing a string of their most recent, contagious tracks (such as ‘This Town’ and ‘Good Night’), the gals and dude left us with their most contribution to the Nuggets compilation – The Premiere‘s ‘Farmer John’. If you listen to Bloods’ cover, you’ll notice that they’re incorporated the squeals of the fans, just like it was done in the original.

Although the night was still rather young, GOOCH PALMS proved to the audience why this was an over 18’s event. Leeroy walked out with nothing but his guitar, a pair of converse and gold hot pants briskly covering everything. Not long after he caused a giggle from the audience when he exposed half of his rear end, Leeroy had boycotted his spandex and was rocking out with his.. Manhood.

The duo played some newbies and old gems, a favourite being their 2011 single, ‘Cucaracha’, not to mention their cover of ‘(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet’. Very different to the original by The Reflections, the self-classified “shit pop” duo completely stripped it back and entirely made it their own.

With Leeroy brown-nosing, kicking into mid air naked and spitting into the crowd, as well as Kat taking the piss out of wanky musician antics such as twirling her drum sticks in the air really badly, they definitely left their audience with a memory.

STEP-PANTHER were the heaviest band to grace the stage thus far. Without a whole lot of audience interaction, Steve, Jose and D-Rad completely wigged out to a selection of their growing catalogue. They even went as far back as 2010, wooing the crowd with ‘Superpowerz’ and ‘Fight Like A Knight’ from their Surf EP. To top off the set, their adaptation of The Castaways‘ ‘Liar Liar’ put a smile on every punter’s face, especially due to the fact that the girls from Bloods joined them on-stage to sing the female vocal parts.

A night that had given so much already, THE MURLOCS really treated us with their appropriate 1960’s vibe. The bluesy five piece issued unstoppable grooves with their large vocals, playful percussion, lively guitar and brilliant use of harmonica. Their set was made up of tunes from their self-titled and TeePee EPs, as well as their rendition of Count Five‘s ‘Psychotic Reaction’ – a song full of so many great moments.

With the wicked psychedelic projections working in their favour more so than some of the other bands, The Murlocs created a really cool atmosphere that was enjoyed by all of the Paradiso.

KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD spilled onto the stage (featuring members from The Murlocs) and broke into their surf psychedelia. Their dazzling stage presence made their audience impressionable, as everyone in the room was bopping and dancing to the explosive sound coming from the seven musicians before them.

Their set featured tracks that can be found throughout their entire discography, including their upcoming release Eyes Like The Sky. Crowd favourites included ‘Muckracker’ and ‘Bloody Ripper’; both that can be found on their 2012 release 12 Bar Bruise. Another obvious standout was their Nuggets contribution – ‘Open My Eyes’, originally by Nazz.

Sydney four piece THE LAURELS were the second last outfit of the night. From the get go, the fellas and lady ripped right into their sonic realm of euphoria. The textural element of their production that accompany breathy vocals made up of noble lyricism create quite an amazing live show.

Another band that really sounded spectacular with the adornment of the visual projections, The Laurels exhaled a number of tunes; such as ‘Black Cathedral’ from their Mesozoic EP and ‘Tidal Wave’ that can be found on their debut record Plains. Their rendition of 13th Floor Elevators‘ ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ was pulled off brilliantly. Although not sounding much different to the original, it still had The Laurels written all over it.

The final band for the night was STRAIGHT ARROWS. The garage punk outfit got up and pursued a lively, fun set of extremely good music.

With matching guitars, Owen Penglis and Al Griggs really got into the set, jamming and using up as much of the stage as they could. After playing tracks from their LP It’s Happening as well as some new tracks and their cover of The Knickerbockers‘ ‘Lies’, they played through their last few tunes with members of the other bands of the night coming out from side of stage, throwing numerous rolls of toilet paper into the crowd.

When the bands weren’t performing, Velvet Cave DJs were spinning fucking awesome garage and psychedelia at every intermission. Pretty much recycling the tasteful tunes that can be heard at Sydney’s Velvet Cave, it was like being at a clean Club 77.

With all of the bands performing superbly, having access to the Paradiso Terrace Bar and the entirety night itself running smoothly and hassle-free, the organisers had clearly outdone themselves with this very special tribute show to the original Nuggets compilation.

Words by Hannah Galvin.



An avid fan of Sydney’s jazz and found sound scene, as well as eating peanut butter from the jar.