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Gig Review -NOIR CITY at The Lansdowne Hotel, 17 September 2022

Live music is doing its very best to make a comeback with venues, promoters and artists dealing with the 'new normal' of a more uncertain landscape with costs up and ticket sales down.

What better time for Lennox Groove to hit out for our first live music promotion in Sydney for a few years! Crazy time, but we have a scene to support and sometimes you have to just roll your sleeves up and create your own show.

We were stoked to secure a spot at the legendary Lansdowne Hotel which has recently been revitalised by a new team including top Australian music curator guru Chris Sheppard at Curate Connect.

With the usual avalanche of "please the fuck come to this show" marketing behind us we got through sound check and opened the doors.

As the early punters arrived Local Safari opened the night. We absolutely love this band which is going from strength to strength with a string of great releases behind them and an amazing high energy live show. The band have just released their new single 'Feel It' and the dynamic between the lead vocals of Leah and Josh on this work an absolute treat. Definitely one of the best emerging beach rock bands in Australia. They got the crowd super pumped with their set.

Next up was Sydney band The Sooks. If you like The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys you will love this band. A super tight set of punchy catchy tunes had the crowd in the palm of their hands. Super cool vibes amped the whole night up and set the scene for the headliners to follow. The Sooks have already sparked interest in the UK with top promoter This Feeling getting behind the band and you could certainly see why. Another top young band on the very healthy Australian indie rock scene.

(The Sooks, photographer Charlie Hardy)

The stage was set for the first of the night's headliners Satin Cali. This band has a reputation built on their live show and they certainly delivered. A big sound from this 5 piece band from the Gong that plays a timeless style of hard hitting guitar rock which would have slotted perfectly into one of the legendary shows from the Lansdowne Hotel's past such Powderfinger, You Am I or Died Pretty. The set included a mad new tune 'One of These Days' which is to be released on 28 September 2022 ahead of an East Coast Tour. Make sure you catch them at a show near you!

(Satin Cali, Photographer Charlie Hardy)

(Sputnik Sweetheart in the Lansdowne Hotel green room, photographer Charlie Hardy)

The lighting and sound at the Lansdowne was absolutely top notch adding drama and a dark vibe to the Noir City stage. Emerging next out of the smoke was Canberra band Sputnik Sweetheart. There was a big pre-show buzz around this band with their recent two singles 'Lindy Hop' and 'Heavenly' getting huge support from powerhouse Triple J radio. That sort of buzz can sometimes lead to disappointment at a live show, but we are here to tell you, Sputnik Sweetheart are the real deal. This is a group who knows how to craft a catchy melodic indie rock song and play a super tight set. Their music is layered and deep, full of clever sonic references drawing from previous eras but making it very fresh. To sum it up "fucking cool". I have added them to my Julie/Milly/Pretty Sick/Cryogeyser/Momma playlist. The band are on tour now do not miss them! I have a strong suspicion I will be boasting about having done a gig with Sputnik Sweetheart for years to come!

(Sputnik Sweetheart, photographer Charlie Hardy)

(Starzi from Creep Features, photographer Charlie Hardy)

(Dan from Creep Features, photographer Charlie Hardy)

The final band of the night was Creep Features. The crowd noticeably swelled prior to their set and the anticipation built. This is a band that understand the theatre of live music. The stage was empty, the house lights dimmed, and the unmistakeable riff of INXS's 'Shine Like it Does' rang out. The smoke billowed, the crowd started cheering and suddenly the distinctive figure of Starzi Tsiamis strode out onto stage with his big bodied Gretsch strapped to him like a six shooter. His best friend and drummer Daniel Isaac followed throwing off his his black leather jacket and settled onto his drumming stool.

Creep Features are a unique band on the Australian scene playing a dark and heavy indie rock. Starzi, the son of greek immigrants, has a flair and style which is certainly outside the typically grungy steeze of many young musos on the scene. On stage he looks 8 foot tall with jet black swept back hair, wearing a dark suit over an exotic silk shirt. His vibe draws from legendary performers such as Nick Cave, Johnny Cash and Alex Turner. Starzi balances performative swagger with a genuine warm connection to the audience which was emphasised at the show when he relayed the sad new of the recent passing of his beloved father.

But style and vibe aside Creep Features are about THAT sound. A insanely powerful multifaceted assault on your senses which almost impossibly comes out of this duo with one guitar and one set of acoustic drums. Drummer Daniel Isaac balances the flair of his frontman with a earthy powerful approach which draws comparisons to drummers like Ben Thatcher and Dave Grohl. Hard hitting, precise and relentless a necessary combo to underpin the insanity that is coming out of the guitar amps.

Creep Features worked through their set of riff packed hard hitting rock which takes cues from bands such as QOTSA, Royal Blood, Polish Club, DZ Deathrays but bringing a very fresh take. The band had the crowd in an absolute frenzy by the end of their set but it was a super positive experience with zero dickheads and as the night finished there was much nodding of heads and knowing looks between the crowd acknowledging what had been a very great night of new Australian live music. Thanks to everyone that came and made it such an epic night. Thank you to the sponsors Jack Daniels and the amazing crew at The Lansdowne.

(Creep Features, photographer Charlie Hardy)

We were super lucky to have snagged one of Australia's top young photographers, Charlie Hardy to shoot the night. He drove down last minute from Newcastle at short notice to be there! All photos on this story and our social media recapping the night are his.

(Post Noir City green room celebrations with Lennox Groove and various members of Creep Features, Sputnik Sweetheart, Satin Cali and Local Safari, photographer Charlie Hardy)

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