Despite it’s somewhat unappealing nature – small, sweaty and very basic – there’s an undeniable charm to Nambucca. As the starting point for many great bands, it’s got a fantastic history, it’s never short of interesting characters and, as I found out, you may just discover a band like Deadcuts.
Dark and brooding in all the right ways, Deadcuts – fronted by Mark Keds of indie punk band Senseless Things – aren’t afraid to push the boundaries of comfort a little. With the band coming together from separate musical projects, their sound has resulted in a post-punk/psychedelic mix up, both perfectly suited for the time it’s in but with an added dosage of nostalgia – it’s reminiscent but not imitant. Combining heroin chic with charming charisma, Deadcuts manage to both woo the audience, and perhaps make them a little uncomfortable. It is, however, this combination of discomfort and infatuation that forces the audience to stay; that Deadcuts are described as a band to be watched (or listened to) in large doses is no surprise as the audience became gripped, and the bar became surprisingly empty.
Once everyone had drinks in hand – having spent about 20 minutes queueing – they scrambled to the rather restricted space in front of the stage; and once that was full it was time to find any surface possible to stand on. Every table, banister, stool and ledge was taken, leaving those at the back to scramble for any sort of view. Apparently the way to judge a bands popularity is to book them at Nambucca; you may be surprised by just how many people show up.
Despite the standing on ledges (or perhaps because of the restricted movement this caused) it seemed oddly tame for Fat White Family. Having heard tales of pigs heads on stage and purposeless aggression, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect – but aside from frontman Lias’ toplessness, the crowd were more wild than the band. It was a short set, but panned out as expected, with the band playing through the likes of ‘Bomb Disneyland’ and ‘Touch the Leather’; the crowd yo-yoed as people escaped because of heat exhaustion/mosh-pit injuries before recharging and getting right back into it. Fat White Family gigs are a strange one to observe, as it’s sort of a mutually agreed fight – a sort of ‘you break my nose, I’ll break yours’ but in a very heartfelt way. Whilst I wouldn’t advise three people crowdsurfing at once in Nambucca, it was fun, and although the set could’ve quite easily carried on for another half hour, I was pleasantly surprised. I left wishing I had given into the hype around Fat White Family earlier: as the abundance of people at Nambucca proved, I may have just missed my chance to see them much more before they rocket to much bigger venues.