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Polaroids Of Androids


Frenzal Rhomb + Nancy Vandal @ Metro Theatre

Last Friday the Festival Ladies (Poleski, Carlsberg and Gemdilem) went to the Metro in Sydney for the biggest punk rock event of 2009 - Frenzal Rhomb and Nancy Vandal in their comeback tour "The Boys Are Back in Brown".

Gemdilem: Carlsberg and I went to loads of Frenzal Rhomb u18s gigs at Sutherland Entertainment Centre while growing up in the Shire. We couldn't wait to see the boys again. We'd been counting down to this day for weeks now. Punk rock is not dead!

Carlsberg: Due to growing up in the second world, Poleski had never seen Frenzal Rhomb live. It was time she was educated Poleski on the wonderful world of Frenzal.

Poleski: Back in 2008 I was dragged to The Annandale by Carlsberg and Gemdilem to see a band by the name of Jebediah. I was sat down and told that it is unjust that I hold an Australian passport and have not seen the band live. They were, as I was told, an inspirational force that had made the Australian music scene what it is today. Without Jebediah we would not have any music post 1998. Fast forward to April 3rd 2009 and I am experiencing de jau vu. I was given a 101 lecture on all things Frenzal. Their cryptic lyrics and song titles were broken down for me, moshpit etiquette was outlined, as was the impact the band had on the industry (apparently it’s thanks to them Crowe has decided to shut up and stop trying to flog his music on the radio).

Pre-gig drinkies

Gemdilem: For some reason Poleski had free drink cards for Smirnoff Mules (vodka + ginger beer + lime) at the Hippo Lounge. So we decided to meet there for some pre-gig drinkies...

Carlsberg: Unfortunately my youth didn’t involve free Sminoff mules before Frenzal gigs. Four, five, maybe even six of these beauties were downed before the bar chick decided to read the back of the card that said ‘one drink per person’.

Poleski: RSA fail!

At the Metro...

Carlsberg: We arrive at the Metro filled with an extra gingery glow from the many free Smirnoff mules.

Gemdilem: I'm at the Metro for all of 2 minutes before I see the first person I know from the Shire. In the great words of Frenzal Rhomb "Let's drink a beer!" and off to the bar we head.

Carlsberg: It is strange to say the least to be at a sold out Metro seeing a band Gemdilem and I had seen countless times at Sutherland Entertainment Centre or at approximately 11:30am on tiny stages at dusty former music festivals (Surf, Skate, Slam anyone?).

Gemdilem: Dreadlocks, Frenzal t-shrirts... memories.

Carlsberg: The crowd is an interesting mixture of "old school" fans hovering around the age of 30 (ie. us) and kids who know the band first for having two members on the Triple J morning show.

Poleski: I am totally in over my head here people. This cannot end well.

Nancy Vandal

Carlsberg: I have no opinion on Nancy Vandal. We only saw a couple of songs (fault of the free drinks) but we weren’t there to see them anyway.

Gemdilem: Nancy Vandal have trumpets? It's been too long between reunions, I can't remember them at all!

Poleski: Nancy Vandal!!! I haven’t seen them since Sandpit 1998 in Narrabeen (anyone?) Listening to them brought back a flood of blocked out memories... like when we decided to spray paint our hair green.

Frenzal Rhomb

Carlsberg: Picking probably the most inappropriate song ever for an entrance, Beyonce's Crazy In Love, the boys came on with a bit of a leer and a bit of a smirk. It's business as usual, it's 1997 again.

Gemdilem: The second they stepped onto the stage the pushing starts and beer sprays down on me like rain. It's on!

Carlsberg: Launching into banter worthy of an RSL comedian, and wearing probably the same long sleeved t-shirt and long shorts he wore in 1998, Jay hit us with jokes about the audience - "my sister just won social worker of the year, there are probably heaps of her clients in the audience" and "did you learn that at f**kwit school"?.

Gemdilem: Jay does a shout out to the people from the Shire. Calling us "rural urban fringe dwellers". It gets a massive cheer and I wonder if they are cheering for or against it? I don't think it matters.

Poleski: Being on radio doesn’t give you a license to talk ALL THE TIME... shut up and let the kids get their mosh on already.

Carlsberg: They open with Genius. It reminded me why - I used to wear shorts to gigs (it was really hot) and why we used to tape our shoe laces up (Frenzal fans are crazy) and how Frenzal are the greatest band.

Gemdilem: Insanity breaks out!

Carlsberg: A few songs in and Jay decides to kick two fans out for spitting on the guitarist. They refuse to leave so Jay leads the crowd chant of "f**wit" until security removes them. Who else, but Jay, can get away with that?

Gemdilem: There is a mixture of sweat and beer in the air...

Carlsberg: The songs roll out with hit after hit - Russell Crowe’s Band, Mum Changed the Locks, We’re Going Out Tonight, You Are Not My Friend, and All Your Friends Think Your a F***head.

Gemdilem: I remember why I use to only bring the essentials with me to Frenzal gigs - $20, my Medicare card (in case I got hurt in the moshpit), no watch, and my worst possible clothes. Circle pits spring up everywhere.

Carlsberg: A note here to the kids. You suck at Circle Pits. It’s not that hard. Even wiki has an entry on them ("run fast, turn left"). Wherever we stood, a circle pit started and failed. If everyone goes in at once, then there is no circle. Fail.

Poleski: The kids don’t know how to mosh. I blame the internet.

Gemdilem: Carlsberg and I confidently move closer to the front to join the madness. We have lost Poleski.

Poleski: I am hiding at the back. The very back.

Gemdilem: I try to take photos but can't. Something is stopping me - maybe it is the warm VB can I'm clutching, the many free drinks at Hippo Lounge, the constant pushing and shoving, or the fact that I feel liked I am constantly being sucked into a circle pit like a blackhole.

Carlsberg: Jay then kindly informs us that they will play a couple more songs and then after Punch In The Face they would go off for a while, we would cheer a bit, and they would come back for two more songs. I like when bands don’t stuff around.

Gemdilem: Jay is talking to the crowd when a crazied crowd surfing fan (while no music is being played) somehow manages to land on his head and knocks his two front teeth out. Blood spurts out. Jay turns to the guy and says "you ate shit, rope head".

Carlsberg: Gold!

Poleski: Then they played Punch in the Face. Best song title ever!

Gemdilem: Punch In The Face did not disappoint. Highlight? Yes but there were many highlights. After a short break (when we cheered like Jay had told us to) Frenzal came back on and played White World and Some of My Best Friends Are Racist. What a nice way to end? Something for everyone.

Carlsberg: And then sadly it was all over.

Poleski: Thank goodness!


Carlsberg: Words do not do justice how awesome this band is. Who else can so brutally pay out fans, kick out fans for spitting and lead a crowd chant of "f**wit"? Sadly they did not play Mr Charisma or There’s Your Dad but as Frenzal fans, we know life is sometimes f**ked. We left the Metro, covered in beer and man smell, to the waiting ambulance and a guy projectile vomiting on George St. Frenzal Rhomb are back and hopefully there will be more to come.

Poleski: I have nothing, but words of thanks for my parents and their decision to leave the country when they did. Witnessing Frenzal Rhomb just once in a lifetime was more than enough for me. Although Jebediah had prepared me for a lot of things (primary Gemdilem and Carlsberg pitch levels and ability to create a two-man moshpit of reckoning force) nothing could prepare me for the man sweat, beer showers and dreadlock burns across my face.

Gemdilem: Awesome. Pure awesome! You just know it's been a good gig when you see vomit and an ambulance. Frenzal are back!

Filed Under
Frenzal Rhomb
Nancy Vandal


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Second world reprezent

1 decade ago


That review was pure class ladies.

1 decade ago


thanks biscuitsandtea...

man that review is long... congrats to anyone that actually got through it!

prehaps also we need a name change - "The Festival and Aussie-bands-that-were-cool-in-approx-1997 Ladies"

1 decade ago

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