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From the very first chord, Luca Brasi transformed the 170 Russell crowd into a heaving mess of bodies

It was colder than the Fortress of Solitude outside when Tassie band Speech Patterns took the stage. 

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Image source: 
Shaina Kaye

Their sound moved between Propaghandi-esque technical punk rock to Jawbreaker style emo throughout the course of their set. There was even an element of early Taking Back Sunday to some of singer Luke Thomas’ vocal melodies. Their noodley guitar work was tight as a drum and drew the reluctant crowd down to the pit.
 
Maddy Jane opened her set with a solo song before bringing out her band. Jane has a sound like an Aussie Dolly Parton with a bit of a rock edge – a little bit country, commanding like Chrissie Amphlett, but with that sort of familiar storytelling you get from a Paul Kelly song. There was a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams, but it seemed like the crowd was more interested in hearing what Jane had to say.
 
Pianos Become The Teeth took the tempo down a notch or two. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, this was their first trip to Australia since 2014, so their set predominantly featured songs off their last album Keep You. PBTT are an incredible band but really were an odd choice for support act on this tour. Repine, Ripple Water Shine and Say Nothing were emotionally heavy songs and the rough-and-ready crowd didn’t seem to know what to make of them. Shoey music this was not.
 
Chumbawamba’s 1997 hit Tubthumping drew the crowd up to the stage and Luca Brasi were welcomed with rapturous applause. Aeroplane blew the room up. From the very first chord there were crowd surfers doing shoeys above a sea of dad hats, shakas, and Vodka Cruisers. Luca Brasi had their sound down pat from early on in their career and it showed in the seamless transition between songs.
 
Luca Brasi are no strangers to big stages, however they still play as if they’re in a 200-capacity room. At venues like The Rev they’d blow your mind, however in a venue like 170 Russell, they didn’t appear to fully connect with the members of the audience standing behind the heaving mess of bodies immediately in front of the stage. Nonetheless, there were a bunch of highlights like Ceres singer Tom Lanyon joining the band for a song and hits like Say It Back going off.
 
Post-Hot Water Music beard punk has always had an element of drinking culture attached to it, so now that bands like Luca Brasi have reached a much wider audience, could you call it nu-pub rock? Judging by the amount of beers held aloft it certainly seemed like it.
 
Highlight: New PBTT song Charisma.
Lowlight: Nothing.
Crowd favourite: Luca Brasi’s new track Got To Give.