DZ Deathrays, Bleeding Knees Club, Yacht Club DJs, The Fabergettes @ The Factory, Sydney (20/7/2012)

Tonight’s show, audaciously titled a ‘Call the Cops’ party, is doubling as a warm-up for Splendour in the Grass; in about a week’s time, three of the four acts on tonight’s bill will descend on the lush, open fields of Byron Bay. Tonight’s setting, on the other hand, is a stark contrast; a few hundred punters pack into the Factory Theatre – about as bare-bones of a venue as you’ll find in Sydney – to witness rock music at its violent and abrasive best.

Sydney four-piece The Fabergettes open tonight’s proceedings, touting their brand of Best Coast-esque indie pop to a rather sparse crowd of early arrivers. The band’s pleasant but forgettable tunes are somewhat upstaged by the audience, who make up for their scarcity with a delightfully rowdy attitude. The crowd-surfers are here early and in numbers, with horizontal bodies now littering the eyelines of the eager punters. The Fabergettes embrace the audience participation, lifting their own enthusiasm to match the crowd’s. triple j favourite Ding Dong is the unequivocal highlight of the group’s brief set.

Bleeding Knees Club are the next band to arrive on stage, and waste no time once they do so, immediately inflicting their aggressive live sound upon the audience, who are more than eager to rival the band’s energy. Tracks like Camp Out and Nothing to Do sound enthrallingly spirited when played live, but the music once again takes a backseat to the antics of the audience, who now decide that stage invading looks like fun. The security guards’ half-hearted attempts to curb the trend are largely ineffective, and by the end of the set there isn’t a single moment where the stage is completely free of audience members. This creates an infectiously lively atmosphere amongst the audience, and it certainly doesn’t seem to bother the band, who appear content to continue churning through the tracks from their debut about at blistering speed. Unfortunately for the Gold Coast trio, the live setting highlights the lack of variety that the band’s catalogue suffers from, though the crowd don’t seem to mind one bit. BKC prematurely end their set with another fast-paced number, crowd favourite Teenage Girls, and just like that, the stage is once again vacant.

Writing “see above” would be somewhat of a cop-out when describing DZ Deathrays’ set, though it would be hard to give a more accurate account of the performance. The duo’s live sound is aggressive and intentionally unmelodic. Teenage Kickstarts and Dollar Chills are performed particularly energetically, though, much like the band that preceded them tonight, there is very little differentiating one song from the next. The crowd’s energy seems to be endlessly growing, while the security guards manning the stage become increasingly hostile towards the constant stream of stage invaders. No Sleep garners a predictably huge response from the audience, and the band rip through a few more indistinguishable album cuts before exiting the stage in record time.

The conclusion of DZ Deathrays’ set is followed by a surprisingly large crowd exodus, but the majority of the audience does stick around to party into the early hours of the morning with Yacht Club DJs. These guys know how to please a crowd, pulling tracks from sources ranging from 60s blues to Disney soundtracks. It’s an entertaining end to a night during which it was a wonder that the cops weren’t actually called.