Take This Is Spinal Tap, switch the band in the middle of the action into a 21st century Australian punk band and set the whole thing against the backdrop of Sydney’s diverse patchwork quilt music scene, turn the nipple tape up to 11 and you might have the gist of what These New South Whales, a brand new mockumentary series focusing on the lives and burgeoning careers of the band of the same name, is all about.
The series received its official premiere via an interview with the band on Breakfast With Matt and Alex, Triple J’s morning drive show today, and was subsequently uploaded in its absurd six episode entirety onto good old YouTube immediately after.
If you’re not entirely sure whether this is for you or not, just watch the first few minutes of the very first episode, full of guest cameos from names such as Johnny Took (of DMA’s guitar fame), Kirin J. Callinan giving an interview in the middle of a dip, Shane Parsons (of DZ Deathrays frontman duties), members of Palms and Sticky Fingers just some of their Sydney contemporaries who have lined up to participate in the series. You’ll be hooked from the outset.
These New South Whales are a punk rock quartet who find themselves one of many bands in the middle of Sydney’s Inner West music scene (or at least they do, nobody else seems to). Right from the very first scene, where the band introduce us to their ‘House of Horrors’ (it’s actually tub-hitter Luke’s parents place) in their backyard mid-sausage sizzle, replete with typical punk rock things like frangipanis, a ladies toilet and a thirst-inducing cactus, that cringingly awkward and yet infectiously hilarious way Australians do mockumentaries (think Kath And Kim or We Can Be Heroes) shines right through. Frontman Jamie has it down to a fucking punk rock David Brent artform no less.
Part of that is a direct product of the guidance of people like Ben Timony, Laura Waters and Jeffrey Walker, all of whom have worked on various Chris Lilley projects (with Waters having previous experience behind the scenes of Kath And Kim and Walker on the hit US mockumentary series Modern Family). From there the band go down the typical musical roads of your act looking to break out, rehearsals, awkward and sparsely attended gigs and the making of music videos and every bit of it hilarious.
I don’t want to give too much away, just that it’s absolutely recommended viewing. If you’re from Sydney this is an absolute side-splitting must watch. And even if you’re not from Sydney (a Brisbane-ite like me only vaguely understood a lot of the local references sprinkled throughout), if you’re a fan of any of the fantastic new wave of Australian bands coming out of Sydney (and elsewhere too) you’ll love this equally. The first season is six episodes and each only around 10 minutes, so they’re all incredibly easy watches.
Do it now, it’ll be the best thing you watch all week.