[LIVE REVIEW] Unwritten Law @ The Croxton Banroom, Melbourne 08/02/2018

Another steamy Melbourne night and time for some shenanigans as the pre-tour party for Unwritten Law kicks off at the Croxton Bandroom

Coming together tonight was The Drop Bears, Wolfpack, 28 Days and The Dead Love to each play a short set before Unwritten Law hit the stage. This is more of a warm up gig before the tour kicks off on Friday 9th, but a great night nonetheless.

Starting off were The Drop Bears from Melbourne. Having only started out together in 2015, these guys with their 60’s influenced punk rock sound, have grown considerably in that short time, with headlining shows at the Espy and a support slot for Everclear among their accolades.

As the crowd was still building they put on a great little set full of energy to get the punters going. I would definitely love to see a full set from these guys as I think they could be really going places.

Next cab off the rank was another stellar set by Wolfpack. Being a much heavier sound I was drawn to them instantly. These guys hit you in the face with their heavy riffage and great vocals, as well as some very real and hard hitting lyrics  Being a three piece producing such awesome tunes is a great effort.  With Tom on drums and vox, Kane on bass and Chaise on guitar Wolfpack are a not for profit band whose passion and beliefs are clearly put out in their music. Having toured extensively with the likes of The Dead Kennedys, Misfits, Exploited and Pennywise as well as touring the States, they have to date raised over $30K for varying organisations and charities since November 2011.  Save-a-Dog scheme, Forever Friends and Wildlife Victoria being just a few of the recipients of their fundraising.

Being extremely politically motivated they are anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-capitalist and pro-equality. The tracks they played tonight just being a taste of how they put their views out there.

Death Dealers, Toxic Times, Regret, Sterilize Society, Remote Control, Brainwash Blues and Screaming Queens.

I can not recommend these guys enough, not just as musicians but for who they are, what they do and how they carry themselves. I have immense respect for them.

28 Days are another Victorian band hailing from Frankston.  It was clear they had a big following as the crowd stepped forward eagerly as they entered the stage. Forming in 1997, these punk rock/pop punk/rap punk styled crew have been in and out of the scene for years.

Immediately Jay Dunne is commanding on the mic both in song and with his stage banter and the crowd lap it up. Knocking out a handful of tunes seemed like it was not enough as the punters wanted more. Having heard of these guys over the years it was great to finally get to see them on stage, and they certainly did not disappoint. I really hope to see them doing more gigs in the near future.

The Dead Love were up next with their indie punk/grungy grooves. Being from Sydney and ranking highly on Triple J’s Unearthed, these guys have grown tremendously in stature and garnered themselves a considerable following. Playing tunes like ‘Yeah Nah’ and ‘Wastelands’  they were a greaat warm up for tonight’s headliners.  

So as the stage was cleared one last time, and the crowd continued to drink and wait for Unwritten Law it was great to see members of all the previous bands getting out and mingling with the punters….after all this WAS a pre-tour party more so than a show!

The appreciative crowd had slowly converged closer and closer, and in no time it was showtime for the band they had all come to see.

Taking the stage under a blistering array of lights came Unwritten Law.  Rightfrom they get-go Scott Russo made it clear that this was a party!! He said they would play some tunes – “not to manny and not too few”.

And with that launched straight into their first song.  Playing through a fairly short setlist of about a dozen tunes- with some requests thrown in for good measure- they knocked out a nuumber of their most popular tracks including Teenage Suicide, Lonesome, Seein Red, Celebration Song and Save Me.

It was a super relaxed set, with loads of banter, laughs and crowd interaction. Scott made light of the fact he was struggling to remember some of the lyrics and the crowd had no problem picking up the slack. A brief drum solo was included as requested  by a member of the audience and the last few songs were unplanned or so it seemed. After the set was done the boys were just really eager to get out amongst the crowd, get a drink in their hands and just mingle and party.

This was a super fun night and a fantastic prelude to what promises to be an awesome national tour. Be sure to catch them if you can, you will be in for some great music and loads of fun.

Review Contributed by Jodi Maree

GALLERY BY SHANE HENDERSON