Beatdisc, Put That Fresh Nelson Bag Back On Harbourer
Beatdisc Records Instore
Let me start off by saying that I feel a little self-righteous in reviewing a show that my own band played, but I will do my best to provide an apt detailing of the experience for those of you who missed out.
This year marks Beatdisc Records’ 18th year in existence as the hub for the alternative music scene in Parramatta/Western Sydney. The last few years have seen a substantial increase in live instores in an attempt to support and promote the local and national scene, as well as help the store get those much needed record sales as it makes its bid to remain relevant in a world where digiEPs and illegal downloads take precedent. I’ve had the pleasure of frequenting the store for the last five or so years and seeing the growth - from a few punk kids to a measurable crowd of regulars and general music enthusiasts - has been inspiring.
Last night saw Post-Hardcore kids Fresh Nelson from Armidale play their own unique brand of Ambient Hardcore/Punk in support of their latest EP Waver, joined by Sombre-Punk-Rock dudes Harbourer and my own Lifetime-inspired Melodic Punk band Yo Bag.
Being a Sunday show we kicked off at around 4:30pm, with the room packed in nicely for Harbourer who opened with an awesome example of what is to come on their 7”, due for release later this year. Having maintained close-ties with these guys since their inception (basically), it’s been really great to witness their progression, with the new songs displaying some exploratory writing that seems to have paid off. Vocalist Callum has managed to provide even greater depth to his vocal range, aided along the way by bassist Brendan who is seemingly enjoying a greater role in terms of vocal delivery. Musically, they have taken something huge and made it even bigger, led in turn by drummer Adrian whose talent for rhythmic chaos was only highlighted by Matt’s delay-soaked guitar melodies; the Beatdisc crowd experienced some loud, 90’s inspired punk rock and judging by the plentiful heads nodding along, it was more than palatable. Songs of note were definitely the opener ‘Syntax Error’, and the re-worked ‘Lack of Interest’, both set to make an appearance on their upcoming record.
Next up was Yo Bag. Having just taken a two month break trying to finalise our new 7”, I was glad for the opportunity to play again in front of friends at Beatdisc, where we have been lucky to play a few times previously. Due to this, it was with measurable comfort (helped, of course, by the beers) that we took to the floor and punched out our 20 minute set, half of which was the new 7” in its entirety as we attempt to gauge whether or not we’ve gotten any better. Just remember, it’s not just about technicality, or the tightness, its about the passion…right? Overall, I was just glad to finally be playing again and the response from the locals and tourists alike was quite positive.
Finally, youngsters Fresh Nelson took to the floor. Having not had the chance to see them the previous night at Jura Books, I was excited to see what these guys had in store and what they brought was an excellent display of ambient melodic guitars and solid rhythmic foundation which shook the roof for 25-odd minutes. From the get go they managed to engage the audience’s full attention with their progressive take on hardcore, setting the pace immediately for vocalist Dan’s emotive delivery. Speaking with the guys later, it seems that they’ve been a band near four years, only managing to record and release a debut EP recently due to educational restraints. And boy did the cohesion show. They sounded as much a touring band as was hoped and the imaginative approach to Pixies’ ‘Where Is My Mind’ was well received with everyone present providing backing vocals for what was a highlight of the night. They closed strongly with a well-jointed double of ‘Lanterns II’, with bassist Dave taking the role of second drummer in a very enjoyable percussive introduction, and ‘Clay’, a track that was released earlier in the year and re-recorded for Waver.
With that, the music came to an end and the crowd began to falter until a core group of us remained (we’ll call it the Freshdisc Bag + “tour manager” crew) at which point we descended upon a local dumpling joint, in one fell swoop doubling their business and our stomachs. We ended the night with a heated FIFA session between myself, my roommate Rob and Fresh Nel-sons Jonno and Mack, abetted by a malfunctioning controller that saw a number of shots and long balls go astray, before the Armidalians took their leave and ended another successful Instore at the Disc.
- Camilo Zannoni
Photography by Daniel Knott