“You work a goddamn lousy job… You come home at night…
What are you going to do? Go to the Movies?.. No! You’re going to get a bottle of Whiskey, and drink it.. Maybe go to a bar.”
[Once muttered from Charles Bukowski’s Mouth].

On this wintery Saturday night on the 30th of July, after a day of work I went to the Northcote Social Club, just down the road, to witness a band I had found out about, only recently, through Apple Music. It was Sweet Jean, launching their latest album “Monday to Friday”.

Opening the show in this cosy and intimate bandroom was Darling James. Going straight into his set, the vocalist stands their alone with just an electric guitar and his voice, expecting it to be just a one-man band, he finishes his 1st track saying “Thank You Sweet Jean for Making Me Learn Guitar”. Finding out it was his first ever one-man show, without his current line-up participating. By the time he was into his 2nd song “How Far Will You Go?” the crowd had formed –All 30 of us- Filling the intervals between his songs with witty humour, by about the halfway mark, during his song “Holy Wars”, speaking of the oxymoron’s of love/relations, the people had their phones out for a sneaky snapchat photo/video. The great thing about bar shows are that, that only happens once or twice during the span of the night.
Finishing off his set with his 7
th song “Half of It”. His guitar was spilling out some feedback, which accompanied the song perfectly, being one of the pop-ier songs on his set he left the crowd with great energy as we awaited the next act.

I took this moment to have a beer and a smoke at the smokers bar which if you sit in the right spot will keep you pretty warm during the intervals between bands, however, if you’re a bit more in the open, you may have frozen yourself before the warmth and energy was brought from the second act Jim Lawrie.

Jim Lawrie really brought the vibes with them this night as their “hair out” rock n’ roll –“Fender/Rickenbacker”- stylings vibrated this once small cosy room, which had now built itself into an almost human-heated venue with the members of the crowd spilling their drinks as they –literally- danced their way in front of the stage. Filling the gap of the two other bands with something just a little bit different. Both the guitarists fed off each other as the as the drummer filled the gaps
leaving the bassist to add that extra kick and spice.
Can’t wait to see what these boys have coming in the future.

Once again spending the interval between Jim Lawrie and the headliner with a bourbon and cigarette, talking absolute tomfoolery with the locals and bar, keeping the night alive. Before I started following a couple of ticket payers into the venue I noticed, the bandroom was packed!

Making it just as Sweet Jean stood on stage, I held my drink waiting to see exactly what I was about to witness. As soon as Alice and Simes voices hit the walls into our ears, I realised, maybe it was the warm lighting, or the alcohol but everyone was standing very still and humming to the music. They packed the room but kept us breathing. Opening the show with two songs from their album “easing us into” their latest album, with surprising instrument features of a harpsichord, no bass and strong harmonies. They brought a folk show but the atmosphere was electric. The sonics were cosy and once the melodies hit you had no choice but to sway your hips. By the third song everyone was moving, nodding their heads/shaking their hips.
By the time they had everyone eased into their new album they played a cover saying “we thought it was a good idea”. Great idea.

The set slowed down by the tenth song, filled with colourful harmonies and raw instrumental textures that almost had me believing I was just watching them jam in a rehearsal studio.
Parachutes definitely had me right in the moment with the harpsichord, the harmonies, the way all the instruments worked with the room to create an almost subtle but vibrant feedback, all whist the drummer was using brushes. Using the interval after to speak about the kafuffle with Alice mentioning on the radio that she doesn’t believe in… Santa Clause and Jesus.

Ending this Grade-A Class of local bands Alice and Sime stood on stage alone to give the crowd a well-deserved Encore and thanking everyone for making it.
If you haven’t seen Sweet Jeans live it is definitely an experience and worth the $20 the event-go-ers payed on the night.