The love we have for Sticky Fingers here at art felicis is bordering on obsessive, having now reviewed two live gigs and two singles, dating back to our very first post. One thing’s for sure though; we’re not the only ones! As I walked into 170 Russell last Wednesday night, the place was packed and buzzing, as the band’s ever-growing cult following had donned their bucket hats and hit the city as if it weren’t the middle of the working week.
After much impatience from the crowd, the boys from Sydney walked onto stage with an assortment of beers, wine glasses filled with who knows what, and a bottle of Johnnie Red. Classy as ever! They started with the title track, “Land of Pleasure”, and it didn’t take long for the more eager crowd members to supply the backing vocals. Without skipping a beat, they were straight into an older tune, “Headlock”, catering to their long-time fans.
Sticky Fingers always have an overwhelming stage presence but their showmanship was really highlighted when they played their hit single, “Gold Snafu”. As the song reached the hook, the whole audience had their hands in the air and most were singing along, the stage lights were sick, and the energy was unreal. This wasn’t a once off, either; the whole act was repeated when the hook came back around and the song’s abrupt finish saw the lights go out. Epic.
A sudden contrast, the mood was mellowed as the spotlight shone on lead vocalist Dylan Frost. He serenaded the crowd with a rendition of “These Girls” which managed to turn into a bit of a sing-along. It didn’t take long for the mood to turn right back around when the band welcomed Jimmy Young on stage wearing nothing but overalls and a headband. Then Frost donned his own bucket hat and you could tell things were about to get real loose.
Another favourite from the new single, “Just For You” had the crowd going wild once more. Frost extended the intro, drawing us in, and keeping us there through the first two verses, eagerly awaiting the big hook. ONE TWO THREE FOUR! and the whole place went off. A bit of a mosh had formed up the front and there wasn’t a still body in the venue.
It was about this time when a strong smell of “smoke” was wafting through the crowd. Probably not unexpected but it did little to chill out the raucous audience. “Dreamland” got another mosh going before fan (and personal) favourite “Caress Your Soul” helped the energy reach a peak. With excitement bubbling, some of the crowd became a bit premature with their sing-alongs and when a clap got started, it had about as much rhythm as a drunk man falling down the stairs. This only added to the atmosphere as it became obvious just how obsessed most of the fan base were. Sticky Fingers had so much control over us that they probably could’ve started a revolution.
One last song, “Lazerhead”, had yet another clap going before the band finished and walked off the stage. Paddy Cornwall held up a finger and mouthed “one more” as he walked off. Bring on the encore chants.
Never in my gig-going life have a seen a band make a crowd earn an encore more than Sticky Fingers did this night. Chants of “Sticky!” and one of those claps that you hear when a fast bowler does his run up. Nothing. Chants of “One more song!” saw the stage lights go back on, to cheers, only for them to turn off again. It was deliciously cruel. Finally, the band was out and playing “How To Fly”.
Before the last song, the band gave a shout-out to Justin Debrincat from Kingswood, wishing him a happy birthday. Happy Birthday from art felicis, Justin! We all knew what song was next and “Australia Street” got the reception it deserved. When a fan threw his bucket hat, you knew it was the perfect Sticky Fingers moment. Only at Sticky Fingers does a lad throw his bucket hat on stage in place of a chick throwing her undergarments.
Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Latest Album: Land of Pleasure, released 1 August 2014
Sounds like: A unique twist of reggae and rock with a hint of The Cat Empire
Say what? Freddy Crabs, the man on the keys, really doesn’t like clothes. Just like last time we saw them, Freddy was rocking nothing but a pair of quite short shorts.
Land of Pleasure
If You Go
Show No Shade
Just For You
Fake a Smile
Liquorlip Loaded Gun
Caress Your Soul
How To Fly