The first time I experienced Redcoats live I was a naïve eighteen-year-old wandering down Brunswick Street. Outside The Evelyn, I overheard whispers of praise from the smokers for this band that was apparently killing it onstage. My friends and I coughed up the gold-coin donation entry - ten percent of our weekly earnings - and strolled in.
After only one song we noticed people in the crowd exchanging "these guys are gonna be big" looks. We replicated these glances but nobody cared because we were losers. In the years since that night, Redcoats have gone from Melbourne underground favourites to touring in support of Stone Temple Pilots - one of the many recent events that have contributed to Redcoats'climbing popularity.
"It was huge man. We definitely lived some childhood dreams and got to play at Festival Hall. We got to tour with some guys who had been around for a very long time, who definitely taught us a few things and were very nice and genuine people to get on the road with. It was a good first foot into a bigger circuit that we hope to be conquering soon," reflects singer Emilio Mercuri.
Redcoats possess many qualities that contribute to a successful band. Their psychedelic hard-rock sound, led by a purring guitar and Mercuri's unique voice, is unusual yet appealing even to those who aren't fans of the genre. Live, the band are exciting as drummer Andrew Braidner punishes the tubs while Mercuri screams into the mic and trots barefoot across the stage to the raw licks provided by guitarist Neil Wilkinson and bassist Rhys Kelly.
One of the most important factors in their recent surge in popularity is the appeal of their first single, Dreamshaker, which became a theme song on One HD and has since featured prominently on triple j. The song's lyrics tell a surreal tale and represent Mercuri's writing style early in the band's history.
"I try to draw from what's happening around us, what's happening to me personally or to one of the guys in the band. Just writing about that and nourishing it and giving people a bit of a peek into our minds and how crazy they can become," Mercuri explains.
The single assisted Redcoats in receiving an invitation to play at Pyramid Rock Festival last year: opening to about a hundred people but enticing waves of new fans to move towards the stage as their set progressed. The boys now focus solely on Redcoats; appropriate because of their intense touring schedule this year. After playing at Pyramid Rock, Redcoats featured at The Espy's Rock The Bay, toured with Stone Temple Pilots and Papa Vs. Pretty, and are about to play 17 dates around Australia with Calling All Cars. Furthermore, the band hope for a headline tour and full-length album in the near future.
"It has been [full time] for two years now and we don't live off much but it doesn't take much to make us tick. As long as we can get into a room together and play music, we're all happy."
Redcoats' self-titled debut EP was released last Friday through Island Records Australia. Download it from iTunes or grab a copy from JB Hi-Fi.