After a couple of hot days the night was still warm and The Tote’s band room was stuffy and stale. Nevertheless, I felt that the night of Thursday February 9th was going to be a good night, as I was warmly welcomed inside with a hug from a friend I didn’t expect to see. Filled with creatives, friends and fans, the space radiated with supportive communal vibes, as we all came out to have a good time and celebrate the launch of Sticky Institute’s Festival of the Photocopier.
Suitably the first band of the night was called Heat Wave. The punk rock duo, who sounded a lot like the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and Le Tigre (but with heavier bass lines), reaffirmed that selling out would get us nowhere, repeating the line ‘don’t sell out to the man!’ And we all nodded in agreement. Needless to say, their set was really enjoyable, and they made me feel as though they had read the journals I kept during my teens, and turned them all into songs.
Next up, and sharing anecdotes about Melbourne were The Night Before Tomorrow. They sang about Nick Cave wondering the streets of Collingwood and the 1986 cult punk film Dogs In Space, which was pretty cool.
As I realise that I am writing this review on a Qwerty keyboard, I have reached the third band of the night, Qwerty. Qwerty is the kind of band that you smile while watching. Much like the crowd, who rotated from inside to outside between sets to escape the heat, the three members rotated from bass, drums, guitar and vocals. It was such a pleasure to watch a band so enthusiastic about playing good music, purely for enjoyment. They also bought up the heavily debated pronunciation of the word ‘zine’, as in ‘magazine’ or rhyming with ‘mine’. Qwerty, like some of the other bands playing, had made their own zine to celebrate the launch of the festival, and it was available at a trestle table beside the entrance, with many other zines sold by Sticky.
After the hot debate, we were onto band number four. Sounding like a punk rock Yves Klein Blue, following Qwerty was Pearl Bay. The two-piece played hard and delivered a tight set with seriously good drums. Like seriously good. I am no authority on what it takes to be a good drummer, but I really liked the drums.
Finally to end the night was the much-anticipated performance by Piss Factory. This was my first time seeing Piss Factory and they did not disappoint. Full of energy, the crowd gathered around to dance to some good old lo-fi garage punk. There was also a large inflatable mint Twirl chocolate bar being fist-pumped into the air. I’m pretty sure most of us who attended the launch would characterise the night as, a good night out seeing some bands, and a lone dancer aggressively gyrating with a novelty blow-up chocolate—A good night was had by all!
Feature Image Credit: Sam Wallman