Words Sophie Dunsford
Photos Kim Anderson – Shoot The Wicked Witch
Fresh indie-rockers Odlaw opened the night, playing to a small crowd of punctual punters. The courtyard was empty; inside the four-piece cranked out a tight set of tunes with crisp vocals. They held everyone’s attention. It’s always tough playing to a sober crowd; they did well.
The Order of the Black Werewolf were second to the stage. Their sound was louder and grungier than the previous band and there was a small but dedicated gaggle of observers with drinks-in-hand. Others lingered outside, oblivious. Impressive guitar work was heavily applauded by onlookers.
Mezzanine serenaded the growing crowd. Frontman Cory John Rist chatted to the punters about the other bands, describing The Order of the Black Werewolf as “Metallica meets Sergio Leone,” and waxing woes about the “end of an era,” with the impending international departure of the evening’s headliners. Much to everyone’s delight, they covered The Pixies Where Is My Mind? Rist jumped excitedly throughout the set, having several near-misses with an overhead light. Fortunately he didn’t hit his head, and the set went off without a hitch. Band members played their respective instruments with precision.
After a short break, opening guitar riffs from I, Said The Sparrow cleared the courtyard as everyone ran inside to see what the noise was all about. The party had really started now! By the end of the first song there was a huddled crowd and an enthusiastic solo-mosher. Some disappeared back into the courtyard to quench their thirst, and those remaining were trying to match the enthusiasm of the guitar-player as he hopped back-and-forth across the stage. Did those outside know what they were missing?!
Excitedly clutching their copies of Songs From The Debt Generation, anticipation was rising among the crowd. Clad in his trademark leather jacket, friend-of-the-band, Jake (The Caballeros) took to the microphone to introduce the main event: “Please welcome to the stage for the very last time, The Spitfires!” One song rolled into the next and there was hardly time for vocalist Sean Regan to sip his pint between songs. Three different drummers took turns keeping time. Jake enthusiastically took video footage and sung guest vocals, while the front-rows danced wildly and sang along. Songs Skeletons and Shallow Grave were clearly a hit with everyone. The revellers were engrossed, slightly intoxicated, and completely in awe. The crowd hit fever pitch during the encore, trying to soak up their last chance to watch The Spitfires play on home turf. The punters lingered long after the show collecting set lists, waving their CDs at band members to be signed, and generally faring well to The Spitfires for the last time.