From the vibes outside Sydney’s Enmore Theatre, you got this feeling like the staff had spent the whole week training and running drills in preparation for tonight: knowing full well that 1.6K pisswrecked inner-westies were about to come elbow-barging their way through the doors to witness Newtown’s loose-unit kings slay yet another beast of a homecoming gig.
Security was tight. Bags, IDs and tickets were scrupulously checked and male punters were even asked to lift up their shirts to prove they weren’t packing some kind of strategically concealed longneck or a cheeky goonsack strapped ’round their waists (this was probably warranted).
Every time Sticky Fingers play the Enmore, it sells out. Sometimes multiple times over. The psych-reggae-indie-pop-rock fusion party starters have achieved true cult hero status in this town, and with good reason. StiFi are Newtown: talented AF, quirky AF, strangely beautiful, perpetually boozed-up and slightly dysfunctional outcasts (at last) but beloved for all those same reasons.
And their latest show only proved this, more so than ever before. Armed with a new batch of cracker tunes from their most impressive album to date, Westway (The Glitter And The Slums), The Stickies served up a 16-song banquet of rock n’ roll steeze that had more mood swings than your menopausal mum.
To demonstrate, we’ve attempted to sum up key emotional moments from their Sydney show using 9 of the internet’s finest reaction gifs. Enjoy.
1. The moment when we discovered exactly why StiFi’s main support band for the night was a group of old pensioners: bassist Paddy Cornwall had recruited his dad’s band, 50 Million Beers, to play the show with them *love heart emojis forever*
2. StiFi’s rock star AF entrance to The Boys Are Back In Town. Arguably, there’s not another entrance theme song in existence that could have underscored Sticky Fingers’ triumphant return to home turf as appropriately as Thin Lizzy’s 1976 bro-anthem. Not only are the lyrics totally appropriate because the StiFi boys were, very literally, back in town, but its swaggering brand of blues rock n’ roll suited their seemingly 70’s pornstar-inspired style to a T, particularly keyboardist Freddy Crabs’ spectacular Ron Jeremy ‘stache, frontman Dylan Frost’s white pimp-jacket and bassist Paddy Cornwall’s indoor shades.
3. During a stomping rendition of their 2016 single Outcast At Last, a dude clad in an orange tracksuit and bucket hat suddenly appeared onstage to gee up the crowd by thrusting his gangly limbs around with the exuberance of a creepy drunk uncle after Christmas dinner. A terrifying display, but also impossible to look away from.
4. Guitarist Seamus Coyle repeatedly outed himself as a closet shredder over the course of the evening. Embellishing many of the more conservative guitar lines that we’ve heard on Sticky Fingers’ recordings with a dash of eighties six-string wizardry, Coyle cut sick on his whammy bar during Outcast and Tongue & Cheek — I’m talking some Eddie Van Halen bullshit — and milked every single note of his soaring guitar solo on Bootleg Rascal, Richie Sambora styles.
5. Sticky Fingers tunes, when performed live, seem to inspire a variety of dance moves. As if controlled by one single brain, the Enmore Theatre moved as one, ground-stomping, drunk-clapping, head-banging and performing this weird kind of half-sway, half-bop sort of move as the band switched gears between their reggae-spiced rhythms. It was particularly enjoyable to see punters getting their collective groove on to The Stickies’ most recent Westway cut Sad Songs, which the band performed at least twice the speed of the recorded version.
6. There was so much screaming. I swear to god this show marked the first time that I’ve ever heard fans legitimately scream for a band. I shit you not — not just yelling shit out, or squealing “Wooooooo!” Legitimately. Fucking. SCREAMING.
7. There were so many points in the night when the crowd were singing along so loudly that Frost’s vocals got almost completely drowned out. Being swallowed up by 16 hundred raised voices in the chorus of Gold Snafu was a magical moment. But it was fellow Land Of Pleasure cut Rum Rage that really seemed to punch everyone right square in the feels. Strangers had their arms around each other singing along to this one, and I even saw a very coupley-style couple in front of me holding each other close and gazing urgently into each other’s eyes as they, too, sang along.
8. During The Stickies’ final song before the encore — fan fave Australia Street — punters were so lit that the mezzanine above the mosh pit legitimately started to flap up and down like one of those giant Indominus Rex dinosaurs from Jurassic World was using it like its own personal trampoline.
9. The Stickies graciously returned to play one encore song in the form of Dreamland. Unfortunately, sound issues struck and Frost’s mic completely cut out for the whole thing. The frontman was clearly miffed, but instead of storming off stage, he jumped off it, chucking his guitar down and diving headfirst into the crowd, before allowing himself to be used as a human pass-the-parcel for a solid few minutes. Epic.
Gallery: Sticky Fingers, 50 Million Beers – Enmore Theatre, Sydney 2016 / Photos By Angelia Madani