It’s Saturday night, it’s raining and it’s time for another gig. Strolling through the valley on a Saturday night is always an interesting sight, however this time I am a little preoccupied looking for a venue I have not yet been to, the Woodland Bar. After getting directions, I find myself walking down a dark alleyway where all I can see down the end are a few bins, but a few steps more and a security guard comes into view reassuring me that there is in fact a live music venue down here somewhere. As I get passed security I make my way up a stairwell into what looks like some kind of bikie drug lab, and upon opening the door I am in fact greeted with a charming little indie bar called Woodland.
With just a few people present, the first band have been pushed back twenty minutes to start at 8.50, and sure enough, there they are. The six-piece Melbourne Unearthed band, Northeast Party House, rock up on stage with their electro…disco…funk sound. Starting with a nice slow beat, they soon erupt into a very up-tempo opening song. The boys from Melbourne are sounding pretty tight and they have a few people surrounding the stage and the odd couple dancing erratically and swinging each other around right in front of the stage; it’s great to see people having a good time. Getting about three songs into their set, Northeast Party House are really starting to get comfortable on stage, bouncing around on what little stage they actually do have. Not only are they bouncing around but looking about you can see everyone now dancing and having a blast. Finishing up a forty-minute set with some always-loved cowbell, Northeast Party House have done a fine job of getting the crowd worked up.
Fast approaching the second band of the night, there is now a steady flow of people coming into the little indie joint, complete with skateboards on the walls, framed pictures of woodland scenes behind the stage and a pinball machine tucked away in the corner – gotta love that! Still not quite packed but with a few extra people, Nantes, the Sydney Unearthed band, come onto the stage with a big sound that has drowned out any chance of people having a conversation. As they get through their first few songs, they haven’t quite won the crowd over as much as Northeast; not everyone is dancing crazy and their music really does sound like your generic ‘heard it before’ pop music. There is no doubt that they are good musicians, but unfortunately they are just not as exciting and aren’t providing as much energy, which makes it harder for the audience to connect.
Coming on stage with a great thumping drum beat, Millions, the local Brissie Unearthed band, take the stage with their poppy indie sound and a packed dance floor in front of them. The bass player seems to be using some sort of violin-shaped bass and the band have the crowd dancing once again and having a good time. As the band rip into their final song of the night, people are crowd surfing and dancing in the booths up and down the side of the venue, even the singer from Northeast Party House had a dive before the singer of Millions went for a surf.
With Millions wrapping up their set in rock ‘n’ roll style, it isn’t long before the crowd start making their way out and packing the smoker’s area at the bottom of the stairs. All in all, there were some good bands, some amusing sights and good times had in a great little venue that I will certainly be returning to many times in the future.