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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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[Review] Deville @ Stay Gold, Melbourne 16/06/2023

Review By Andrew Pauley

Friday night in Melbourne Town goes a little like this. Beer + Beer + Beer + Tequila and a can of JD n Coke = Fkn pumped, where are the live acts at?!   Turns out that Brunswick at the Stay Gold was where some of the goods were on this night, to be.

After a burger and a parma down the road STM’s own camera man Shane and I stormed the Stay Gold. Neat little venue as in there is a bar, stage backdropped by Deville banner and another bar which pretty much sums up this little space. I’ve got add that the sound for a small space was bang on right across the board. The mix was defknlicious.

The line up for Friday night’s listening feast was and in order Nuada, Oceanlord, Child and headlining were Swedish Champions from Deville.

Nuada was first to wake up the night kicking off with their tune Salvaged from their Beneath the Swamp album. Stoner Bam! Right in the face coming off a sweet subtle intro of strings leading into a big fat bassy riff. Smoke machines licking our faces while these four fellas ripped through Sky so Grey, Sabbath, Cold Dead Black & Monster. Totes worth checking these dudes out, solid four-piece unit. Vocally strong and tight over well-structured tracks.

Photo: Shane Henderson

Oceanlord’s 3-piece Local Doom Dudes reached out to wash the room with slow tempo chunks of psych rock & undertones of UK metal. Out of the dark depths they came to launch their latest album Kingdom Cold. Didn’t know the songs but I believe they were from the new album.

Child, Trio No.2 for my third entrée and well I was not expecting these guys as I was transitioning out of darkness that was Oceanlord! My head nearly snapped right off my lower parts when this surprise packet dropped their nuggety, bluesy hard rock sermon. I say sermon as from their website it states we the lovers of this genre are the worshippers of the electric church!! Amazing performance with so much visual chemistry between the three members. I was a tad brain boggled at times when I could swear, I was hearing a Gibson but looking at Fenders. Switching from that mellow blues sound and then transitioning into raw hard rock. I definitely will track these fuckers down to go and visit their Electric Church again. Most impressed.

Photo: Shane Henderson

Some more Tequila with JD & Coke chasers were had to wash the previous entrees down and I got my shit together for Deville whom by the way are proper dudes which I got to chat to as we watched the previous sets. So, onto Deville, the now four piece unit from Malmo Sweden finally down under after SHITVID19 cancelled their previous tour. Full room thick with smoke machine air biscuit and a crowd ready to drink in Stone metal rock jams.

Busting the set out with Burning Towers, No Sun and Speaking In Tongues came, songs from their 6 album catalogue whipped Stay Gold into a grunge metal stoner frenzy. I could tell these guys were on and amped to pull the stage apart with high energy and left nothing in the tank. Even though Michael Odegarden had only brought his sticks with him leaving his kit back home, he jumped on that foreign kit in a foreign land and made it his bitch. It was awesome to watch him play tight rapid chops holding the backline to songs like Serpent Days, Deserter, Wrecked, Imperial and other tracks from the 6th studio album Heavy Lies the Crown.

Photo: Shane Henderson

I lost my shit however when What Remains came on and was front & centre trying to work off the worm from the bottle. Martin, Andreas, Michael & Erik deliver, and they deliver hard!! With galloping chunky riffs that make your nipples hard enough to support a wet blanket. Deville are just one of those bands that when heard live you can’t help but get involved with head nods and windmills.

Photo: Shane Henderson

Finishing their set with Rise Above, Sunset Capricorn & Lava (of fuck yes please Lava)! The band is travelling Oz at the moment and with shows in most states I implore you to get off your bean bag and go see them.

Seriously considering changing my offshore trip to try and catch them in Germany later this year so that’s gotta say something about the class of Deville.

You can still catch Deville on the following dates:

Thu, Jun 22: Finnians Irish Tavern, Port Macquarie
Fri, Jun 23: House of Music and Booze, Sydney
Sat, Jun 24: Indian Ocean Hotel for Spliffs’N’Riffs, Scarborough
Sun, Jun 25: Port Beach Brewery for Spliffs’N’Riffs, Fremantle

Tickets are onsale now through 


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[Review] Orpheus Omega @ Stay Gold, Melbourne 9/12/2022

As the year comes to a close, I sit here and reflect on the vast number of bands I have seen and written about in the last couple of months. What an experience it has been, multiple genres and bands from all over the world.

It then seems almost poetic and fitting for me, that my final review of the year is here at Stay Gold for the Kicking, Screaming and Live Streaming show by Melbourne’s very own Orpheus Omega.


The first thing that you notice about the opening band, Ironstone is how young they are! However, as soon as they start playing you realise that these boys have certainly spent their youthful years dedicated to developing their skills to be proficient at the progressive metal genre.

On their song, Staring at the Sun off their EP, The Place I Cannot Find, they showcased a good use of vocal harmonies and odd meter time signatures were in abundance that surely satisfied the prog fans.

It’s encouraging to see a new generation continue to push the musical boundaries and it’s gonna be interesting to see where they lead us next.


Sheathed in darkness and gilded in black war paint were Scaphis. I always love it when a band goes the extra mile to put on a show with costumes and makeup. Scaphis would have undoubtedly pleased the dark lord himself.

Blast beats, black metal-tremolo picked guitar rhythms abound and a voice straight out of the deepest recesses of Hell defiled  the stage at Stay Gold.

Yet Scaphis is more than just speed and brutality. Their songs also had segments of beautiful arpeggiated guitar lines combined with melodic leads. Vocalist Spyke, has a savagery in her performance and delivery that will turn your stomach and make your blood run cold.

Melbourne’s very own sons (and daughter) of Southern Darkness.

Andy Gillion

An 80’s synth wave sample played as drummer, Frankie Demuru teased his cymbals and the crowd. Then there he was, strutting out on stage in a glittering silver jacket, the virtuoso himself, Andy Gillion.

Backed by the formidable talents of Ryan Huthnance on guitar and Chris Themelco and Leon Monaco sharing bass duties.

The set began with the blistering, In the Arcade and 1988 off Andy’s new album, Arcade Metal.

There was plenty of fun and comedy coming from the lads on stage but make no mistake, they are no joke. This is technical ability at its highest level and an absolute masterclass for any guitarist or fan of virtuosic music. Sweeping, tapping, string-skipping and every technique under the sun were executed cleanly and precisely. However, Andy always considered in his compositions to prioritise melody and had a great ear for good phrasing.

Following this we were spellbound by  Becoming the Nightmare,

Becoming the Dream, Black Lotus and Skyless from Andy’s previous album, Neverafter.

Andy tells a story with his music and takes you on a journey with his playing. From the mystical and ethereal, to the dark and chaotic, you are transported there and back again by his imagination that is so beautifully presented before your very eyes.

It is a challenge trying to compare Andy Gillion’s music to other artists as he truly has a unique voice of his own, but I will say that his playing reminds me of Michael Romeo of Symphony X and the band Illnath, two hugely influential bands in the metal scene.

Andy Gillion truly is a special talent and Melbourne is all too keen to claim him and call him our own.

Orpheus Omega

Orpheus Omega were not only the headliners of the show but they had also organised the entire event and even managed to coordinate a live stream of the whole gig. A gargantuan task to achieve, but this tells you a lot about the kind of person Chris Themelco is. Vocalist, guitarist, bassist, organiser, audio engineer, the list goes on – and Chris excels at everything he does.

All this can only be achieved with intense passion, and that passion is exactly what you see come across when Orpheus Omega take the stage.

Together with brother, Matt Themelco on Drums, Luke Ashley on Guitar, Leon Monaco on Bass and Kes Gallagher on Keyboards and backing vocals, the boys played a phenomenal set of their newest material and fan favourites from early in their career.

Some of you eagle-eyed readers would have noticed that both Chris and Leon performed double duties and played bass with Andy Gillion in the previous set. I guess this is the epitome of do what you love.

The band plays with so much chemistry between members that you’d be forgiven for thinking that they were all brothers as they harmoniously navigate their way between aggression and melody.

The call and response vocals between Chris and Kes was perfectly executed as beautiful clean lines cascaded over blood-curdling screams.

The two new tracks, Within These Walls and Edge of Forever are already crowd favourites as was evident by the voices singing along with the band.

Chris then surprised us by announcing that the 2 new songs are part of an upcoming limited edition 5 track, vinyl only EP and any band that still recognises the value of vinyl is a good egg in my book.

A few days prior to the gig the band had posted on their Facebook page telling their fans to come dressed in their best party shirts for a very special segment of the live show. Looking out across the crowd it resembled more of a Hawaiian Tiki bar than a metal gig. This was the level of dedication that the Orpheus Omega fans had.

In their final song of the night, Sealed In Fate, Chris invited everyone in a party shirt up on stage to celebrate with the band. This was a magical moment and if there was a better way to cap off the night I don’t know it. Luke Ashley and Leon Monaco stepped down from the stage and stood in the middle of a circle pit as bodies raced around them like some kind of pagan ritual. Meanwhile, I had climbed on stage myself as I watched Kes Gallagher and Matt Themelco play to a fevered pitch. I’m pretty sure the fans wouldn’t have minded the set continuing for another hour but alas, all good things must come to an end.

It is clear that Orpheus Omega draw a lot of inspiration from the Melo-death genre but they have unequivocally made it their own and in the process created something that makes me proud to say that I’m from Melbourne and that I am a fan.

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