They were literally hanging from the rafters at the Macedon Railway Hotel as The Smith Street Band powered through a set loaded with classics and new songs.
Like every other band that suffered through Covid, Smith Street had to postpone last year’s tour after lockdowns pulled the plug on them hitting stages around the country.
And the 'spicy cough' took another swing at the weekend’s gig with support act the Money Boys succumbing to the Rona and replaced by Joe Guiton, who warmed up the audience.
The Smith Street Band didn’t waste any time setting the tone as they launched into the anthemic and unmistakeable guitar intro of I Still Dream About You for the first of many crowd favourites.
Will Wagner, possibly Australia’s most underrated hard-rocking storyteller, captivates with emotive lyrics delivered in equal amounts of singing and shouting that has the band on par with other great Aussie pub rock acts of the ‘80s, such as Hunters and Collectors.
It’s a fine act that can have you one minute absorbing a sad tale (Young Drunk) before belting out a killer chorus that has an overjoyed audience arm in arm all singing “tonight I’m getting young drunk!”, of which many of us did.
It didn’t take long for sweaty young blokes to burst into a mosh and see bodies swinging off the pub’s rafters and sliding on spilled beers.
The Railway Hotel is fast-gaining a reputation for attracting great live music in a venue perfect for an intimate acoustic session or roof-raising rock show, or chin-ups, which there was plenty of this night.
The energy in the room turned up as fast as beers went down with Wagner bellowing out hit after hit as the band move seamlessly from song to song.
Wagner’s physical presence on stage is as big as his voice, wielding his guitar around like a chainsaw and dripping sweat that invites punters to get up close and party.
They delivered over a decade of hits, including Death To The Lads, Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams, Passiona, and a taste of what’s to come on their soon to be released new album, that left us wanting more after so many false starts to seeing them on stage again.
The Smith Street Band is touring regional Victoria and you would be mad to miss an opportunity to see these powerful pub rockers in action.
Friday April 29 – Torquay Hotel, Torquay *
Saturday April 30 – Volta, Ballarat *
Friday May 6 – Kay Street, Traralgon ^
Saturday May 7 – Pier Bandroom, Frankston ^
Friday May 13 – Westernport Hotel, San Remo ^
with special guests
*Money Boys ^Cheap-Skate
Tickets on sale now