Gig Reviews

Calling All Cars, Annandale Hotel – 04/05/2012

Arts Marshall opened their set to a densely packed Annandale room, winning over the punters with their high-energy and catchy rock music. They played with an intensity that defied their role as opening band. A band making waves in Perth with their debut EP, they are definitely a band to watch for the future.

Strangers made their presence clear from the very outset. Being the only Sydney band on the bill, they stated how pumped they were to play to such a packed Annandale room and completely blew away the audience. This band were the real deal, from the power stance guitarists to lead singer Ben Britton’s great stage presence. In every sense, Strangers were epic. They played so tight as a unit that not one band member dominated the foreground, and their togetherness flowed through in their performance. The band had heads and feet moving with an electrifying performance with a large part of the audience singing the lyrics to closing song Bred For Breeding. Their performance blew away many, and won them many new fans.

Calling All Cars produce a behemoth of sound from three members, driven by charismatic lead singer and guitarist Haydn Ing, Adam Montgomery’s bass grooves, and backed by James Ing’s powerful drumming. With a new album on the way, they were out to prove they are a big deal on the Australian rock scene, not just a support band to some of the world’s biggest rock bands (AC/DC, Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age). They didn’t disappoint.

Opening with massive rock tune Disconnect, the lads from Melbourne wasted no time and got right down to the business of entertaining the pumped-up crowd. Entertaining they did, with Haydn jumping on the bar during the second song, playing and getting the entire crowd amped, all the while ordering a beer and skulling it mid-song. The other two members maintained the groove while he climbed back on stage to scream the next part of the song. It’s incredibly impressive for a band to maintain such high-octane energy throughout an entire headline set, but their songs are all equally hard-hitting. Songs Hold, Hold, Fire and Reptile got a huge response from the crowd, and an improvised drum solo in Reptile delighted many fans.

Calling All Cars maintain this great hard rock sound throughout all their songs, that is so gritty and aggressive, but most interestingly distinctively Australian sounding. Haydn’s husky growl when in full crank is so raw and unforgiving, adding a harder-hitting sound to songs such as Delirious, which would undoubtedly be more pop-sounding without it. Overall though, it’s the huge riffs that deliver the goods. They drive the melodies into massive choruses, to great effect.

Calling All Cars had more people moving in the packed Annandale room with every song, and had many heads cranking as they rocked out with serious attitude. There was a fully formed mosh pit by the middle of the set, provoking some improvised crowd surfing from a few diehard fans, not to mention two girls jumping on stage and kissing. Never seen that before…

Lead singer Haydn Ing is without a doubt a natural frontman for the band, commanding attention with witty banter, stage antics and a slightly cocky attitude. He was incredibly appreciative of the crowd’s response to their music, particularly of the new track off their upcoming record that they were trialling, which had the punchiest guitar reverb, making it a highlight of many in a great performance. Calling All Cars are one of the most infectious rock bands around, and tonight showed that they have a live show to be reckoned with.

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