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[Review] Dirty Honey @ Stay Gold, Melbourne 04/04/2024

This evening's performance was at Stay Gold in Brunswick (Melbourne). A smaller venue, which tonight was packed full. The crowd in their mandatory black hard rock t-shirts where all out on a Thursday night to see the main act all the way from L.A, Dirty Honey I would describe the punters as hard core hard rock fans and tonight they were not disappointed with the three band line up. The selection of bands on offer was a perfect blend as the style of all three complimented each other. The support acts were a great lead up to the main act and the expanding crowd were a testament to this.

First support was a Melbourne based band Shotgun Mistress. They gave us a quick fire thirty minute set and played seven songs. Shotgun Mistress is led by Glen Patrick on vocals, Matt Wilcock on guitar (recently voted in the top 100 metal guitarists in the world), Ben Curnow on bass and Dave Daniel on drums. Shotgun Mistress are a high energy, hardrock band. The lead singer gave me visual Steven Tyler vibes with his scarves tied to the microphone stand, but I could hear hints of the Darkness in his vocal style. They play straight forward heavy rock with hints of metal. Their sound is strong and solid with great drum beats and awesome guitar riffs. They had the crowd right up to the stage edge with heads nodding from the first beat and they could be heard singing along to the catchy choruses. They release their new single Mary Jane in the next few months and it is well worth the listening too. Shotgun Mistress closed their set with the lead singer disappearing into the crowd only to pop up on a closed bar on the other side of the room, they bring a fresh feel to the hard rock genre.

Second support of the night was Dead City Ruins are a five piece band consisting of Steve Welsh on vocals, Nick Casalini on guitar, Sean Blanchard on guitar, Thomas (Sunset) Murphy on bass and Nick Trajanovski on drums. Every member of this band could have their own shampoo commercials with their gorgeous flowing locks. They visually remind me of the hair metal/hard rock bands of the 80’s and 90’s, but once they started playing I could hear the influences of Deep Purple and Guns’n’Roses. Dead City Ruins are an Australian hard rock band with a fantastic stage presence, I felt like the stage was too small for them to really let loose, but they certainly can put on a show. At one stage to quote Steve the lead singer we had “dualling Les Paul guitars with
Marshall stacks”. The skins were hit hard and fast and the guitars and bass were on fire. Steve’s vocals were flawless and at times their catchy riffs had a hint of blues rock. A highlight for me was a small taste of Baby Please Don’t Go, played fast and hard. Dead City Ruins know how to entertain a crowd and had them fully involved in the music and loving every minute of the
musical jams and the big notes sung. I highly recommend you have a listen to their latest album Shockwave. Dead City Ruins were on stage for a set of ten solid rock songs that were lapped up by the punters.

Dirty Honey was what the crowd had come out on a Thursday night to see. They are a Los Angeles based classic hard rock band, their music has an edgy rock n roll style with a hint of the blues. You can hear their influences of Aerosmith, AC DC and Led Zeppelin in their timeless hard rock, but it is not a rehash of old styles. Their music has a new flavour all of their own. The crowd pushed forward to get closer to Marc La Belle on vocals, John Notto on guitar, Justin Smolian on bass and Jaydon Bean on drums. Early into the performance Marc La Belle apologised for his voice as he has been struggling with it since arriving in Australia, but I thought the husky sound gave it a sexy edge. If he was hiding voice problems he must be amazing when he is feeling well. There was no need to apologise, his voice was still crazy good. Dirty Honey gave us a 90 minutes packed with 14 songs, their music is high energy with an edgy sound and the swagger of the band gives off rock star vibes. Fans were treated to all their favourite songs When I’m Gone, Won’t Take Me Alive and Rolling 7’s. Don’t Put Out The Fire was a highlight with the band jamming out with crunchy riffs and a drum solo. This received very loud applause, with the bass player leading the crowd to clap out a beat. Another Last Time had a beautiful guitar introduction and the crowd helped out on the chorus. Won’t Take Me Alive had the crowd bouncing with the lead singer proclaiming “Melbourne’s crowds are way cooler than Sydney’s”.

The encore was filled with solos. The bass player made the bass talk with a funky chicken beat. The drummer started off with the crowd coping the beats with answering claps into a drum skin workout, then into a guitar solo showing off extreme talent. Dirty Honey know how to put on a great live performance and fans were delighted with every note sung, string plucked and beat hit.Dirty Honey left a sweet taste in my mouth and I can not wait to see them back on Aussie soil ASAP!

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