Double Dragon nights are a unique beast in their musical diversity, go in with no expectations and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the creativity brewing amongst local bands. All bases are covered, from 80s pop to psych rock and every genre in between.
Donny Benet had pulled the short straw playing to few, but it didn’t stop him from delivering a cheesy, borderline comic synth-laden set, looking like Tobias Funke in powder blue puff jacket. He brought the 80s back in full force, before Piano Is Drunk arrived to sweep it away in a wall of industrial sound. Taking themselves a touch too seriously, the black-clad duo proceeded to yelp, screech, thrash and destroy in what they deemed their ‘last every show.’
Juan Cortez was a simple man with simple songs and a simple guitar, not much else to it really. He was amply entertaining, if not a little lost in his electric strums before Drop Tank arrived with screeching female lead and an energetically grunge direction.
The real surprise came with the delightfully named Reckless Vagina; dirty blues delivered with a punk attitude, they played a set that had many a head bouncing and toe-tapping. It took a turn for Van She cheap electronics with a song called Calvin Harris featuring a whisper thin dance beat, but when they were in full flight, it was irresistible viewing.
Ghoul played mostly songs from their forthcoming Dunks EP, though Swimming Pool made an appearance. New tracks were taut and strikingly harmonious with Ivan Vizintin’s voice a haunting croon married perfectly with synced up pulses. The beauty in their music is in the culmination of disparate sounds and beats, making them an intriguing band to watch live – it felt as if the songs were being constructed piece by piece before our eyes. It will be a delight to see where their EP takes them.
It will also be interesting to see where exactly Sick Python are heading; a trio of dudes who took over the floor by the DJ decks in the Gallery Bar and proceeded to unintelligibly blurt raps. One cannot be sure if it was a statement on post-modern hip hop or genuine, but it’s difficult not to cringe when a 6 foot tall Caucasian in Oakley shades and Reeboks is rhyming in an indecipherable Jamaican accent and the only words that seem to make sense are ‘We get ill muthafuckas.’ The beats were undeniably catchy though, especially the sly rip from Girl Talk’s All Day.
For all the creative voices that had filled the room, not to mention the art installation in the glass box that featured a long haired fellow wearing a plastic poncho standing in front of a fan, the always awesome Pets With Pets were loud and proud. The inimitable The Holy Soul were electrifying as always; Trent Marden’s snarl, Jon Hunter’s steady guitarmanship and Sam Woddard’s indisposable bass bonded in glorious synchronicity. Drummer extraordinaire Kate Wilson was the percussive heart and soul, bringing heart pounding rhythms that made for a gritty, captivating performance from one of the finest.
Double Dragon is the lucky dip of local nights out, and for a fiver it’s definitely worth the visit for new discoveries and old appreciation.