A special place in my heart is inhabited by Goodgod Small Club. Nestled in a downstairs space on Liverpool St in Sydney’s Spanish quarter, the first time I went there I was immediately charmed by it’s kitsch Latin décor, low ceilings and friendly atmosphere. It has a front bar and canteen from which you can order an awesome punch jug or American-style bar food, but it is also a live music venue. At the back of the club is an intimate band room called the Danceteria which has been a haven for great music and unashamed dancing during all my visits. Last Friday the space was filled with the music of Brisbane boys Hey Geronimo and their supports Tom Lark and Jenny Broke The Window.
The relatively small room seemed cavernous as Jenny Broke The Window launched into their first song. Their sound is bouncy and energetic on record but tonight that energy seemed to be in lack. Of course, the room was almost empty so I can’t really blame them. In need of an infusion of vitality, yes, but they still played their set with deft talent. Their tracks are crafted with sharp indie pop sensibility. ‘Ravel’, released earlier this year, was the highlight of their set with its exciting pop hooks and riffs unfurling expertly at the hands of the four-piece.
Another place in my heart is reserved for Tom Lark, who has joined Hey Geronimo on the other dates of their national tour. Tom Lark is based in Christchurch, but I’m super happy they brought him over from the land of the long white cloud as I have fallen a little bit in love with him after stumbling across the epic video for ‘Go Get A Job’ and henceforth soaking up the rest of his tracks a few months ago. He was joined by two of what I presume to be good friends of his, judging by their Kiwi accents and the chummy dynamic between them; there was laughter, awkward fist pumps, a false start and the consumption of custard puffs on stage. The audience had grown ever so slightly but was mostly still glued to fringes of the room. However, two girls pulled out a killer dance routine in the middle of the dance floor. Their uninhibited camaraderie was an apt accompaniment to Tom Lark’s upbeat slacker pop, the combination of which kept a smile on my face the entire time. Their loose style, simple and honest lyrics and sly auto-tuned vocals had me completely charmed.
Hey Geronimo completely filled the Danceteria stage, all six of them. Tonight’s show and the tour in general was to promote their latest EP Erring On the Side of Awesome; they kicked off their set with the final song from it, ‘I’ll Be There’. This track is packed with energy, harmonies and a killer riff – in a nutshell I guess that’s how one could describe Hey Geronimo as a whole. The punters took this upbeat first track as a cue to flood the dance floor and start grooving. Soon enough, the atmosphere had taken on a boisterous, playful slant; Will, the bassist/co-frontman even broke a string (the bassist from Jenny Broke the Window jumped in with his bass to save the day).
They’re a lot tighter and more lively than Tom Lark beforehand, but the dynamic between the guys on stage was similarly kindly and good-humored. They looked to be having the time of their lives up there and that attitude rapidly washed over the Danceteria. High energy and high proficiency are something they should definitely pride themselves on and are no doubt becoming known for. Even if catchy choruses, on-point harmonies, fabulous keyboard work and songs that are slightly reminiscent of that 50’s rock n roll vibe aren’t something you’re usually interested in, if you do happen to find yourself watching Hey Geronimo you will find it very difficult not to dance.
Songs like ‘The Dan Kelly Song’ and ‘Lazer Gun Show’ were high points of their set, not that there were any low points either. The gig proved Hey Geronimo to be an incredibly cohesive and exciting act with immense potential. I look forward to seeing them next time.