When I caught upstart Byron Bay lords Skegss in Brisbane last, the crowd was probably half the size as the one packing out the same Foundry that hosted them back then. That was the tail end of 2015, just days before they released their debut EP 50 Pushups For A Dollar, and it looks like the reception to that record has been nothing short of positive.
Having played an all-ages matinee earlier in the day, here tonight Skegss find themselves at the halfway mark of their headline ‘A Chinese Feed And A Couple Of Beers’ tour, which has already entered the record books as the best tour name ever conceived.
Opening act Wash are rough as guts rock and roll, but in the best kind of ‘throw back a beer and bang your head’ way. They’re shouty and scuzzy and just loud and the crowd already losing their shit up the front is impressively sizeable as far as opening acts go. I want to show you what they sound like with a clip but Google is coming up well short as far as anything on the band goes.
The Pinheads from Wollongong are up next and they’re quite simply revelatory human beings. Their lead guitarist is sporting a ripper Johnny Ramone haircut and wearing a dress, their keyboardist is using a cob of corn as a percussion instrument because reasons, their frontman is an absolutely delightful lunatic, looking like the second coming of Bon Scott and spending more time in the crowd than on the stage and their bassist just plays along stoically like there isn’t some shithat insanity going onstage right next to her. It’s fantastic, pure punk rock and they have the fast swelling crowd jumping off the walls as a result.
The Skegss trio have spent most of the time leading up to their set hanging by their merch table and chatting with fans as well as taking in the first two acts intermittently from the side of the crowd. They take the stage to a big reception and plough straight in to a hell of a set. A loud as fuck Fun gets everyone bouncing early, New York jangles along at a slow burn mid-way before dropping in real heavy and drawing a raucous response.
The dirty old school surf rocker Hell is a highlight too. There’s a cover of I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts (aka the Friends theme song) thrown in for very good measure and the frenetic pace of the punk rocking ode to international cuisine Eat It goes off like a frog in a sock. They give a brand new song I don’t quite catch the name of a red hot crack as well, faltering slightly but making up for it entirely with some excellent crowd banter.
It all goes to hell in a handcart for a set-closing LSD though, the band inviting previous member Noah onstage to help them out. One of the extra guitars isn’t tuned properly, to which bassist Toby opines ‘Typical Skegss gig. Shittest band in the world’.
The short delay proves well worth it though, the crowd going utterly apeshit. The Pinheads frontman runs onstage to help with vocals for a second, several patrons hit the stage as well for a spot of crowdsurfing with Toby and frontman Ben eventually joining them in the fray. Security, who had been vigilant in removing crowdsurfers prior to that, pretty much give up as The Foundry shakes and devolves into a wild and sweaty mess.
And with that we’re done for the night and Skegss wish us goodbye as they continue north on their tour. The next time they’re back this way they may have another EP under their belts, the band currently signed to the Dune Rats-run Ratbag Records. If it’s as good as the one they showcased tonight and they continue to put on live shows of this calibre and energy, their star as one of the best young bands in the country is going to stay on the up for sure.
Check out our interview and a couple of beers with the Skegss dudes when they tore Bigsound a new one last year.