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Live Review: Sticky Fingers, Sep 12 @ The Hi-Fi

Words by Lauren Ziegler - Published on September 16, 2014

Words by Bob Thornton

Reggae is usually associated with chilling out, hangin’ low, ‘sharing the love’ – right? I didn’t think it was generally associated with moshing and crowdsurfing. But Sticky Fingers turned up at the Hi-Fi in Brisbane last week to blow this common way of thinking out of the water.

Those who showed up early got to enjoy that hang-picked opening acts of Benjalu and Lyall Maloney, each of which showed impressive, hidden talents. Benjalu got the crowd foot-tapping with his chilled-out folk jams, while Lyall had them in awe, covering a huge variety of genres and styles (including beatboxing!) in his action-packed set.

By the time the clock had ticked over to 10:30pm, it was pretty obvious that it was about to get rowdy, with hundreds of impatient punters pushing back and forth. There were several ‘Sticky! Sticky! Sticky!’ chants, but all resulted in no more than false starts. Finally, after fruitless attempts from the loyal fans, the Sydney boys were roused by the restless punters.

As if to apologise for their apparent delay, they opened their set with their new album’s title track, the powerful and woozy Land Of Pleasure. From there, even the most sober and clean-cut individuals were lost in the myriad howls, face-melting guitar melodies, moshing punters and constant showering of (what I hope was) beer. It was a relentless, powerful and exciting hour and a quarter for every person there. A highlight for me was Caress Your Soul, played with a super slow intro to build suspense, before dropping into the familiar melody – releasing a seriously rowdy monster of a song.

The set seemed to fly by all too quickly, and the omission of two of my favourite Sticky songs, Bootleg Rascal and Clouds and Cream was a minor disappointment at the conclusion of the set. However, the doldrums were quickly alleviated when the energetic five-piece were once again roused on stage for an electrifying encore rendition of Australia Street. Even the more casual StiFi fans got on board with this one, and it seemed as though the entire venue had gone wild. The final jam, How To Fly, was a tribute to all the loyal fans who had been there from the band’s humble beginnings – and again, drew in huge cheers, whoops and chants from every corner of the room.

All in all, it looked like everyone who attended the show left with satisfaction, having received their Sticky fix. Conversations were abound, of happy punters excitedly discussing when the boys would next be in town. Personally, I can’t wait for that – a StiFi show is the kind that leaves you wanting so much more.

I like pleasure spiked with pain and music is my aeroplane

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