Woollen Kits, Friday January 20, John Curtin Hotel
Greasy hipsters lined the sidewalks outside the John Curtin Hotel, giving their pints a good home. There was a sense of expectancy in the air; the fact that it was the start of the weekend didn’t have everything to do with that. It was after all, the record release party for local heroes Woollen Kits’ self-titled debut on infamous garage label R.I.P Society.
It was fitting that the whole evening went down at the Curtin, which is quickly becoming a hub for stellar garage acts. Loose Grip, UV Race and Dead Farmers did their part, bringing waves of thrashing punk and fuzzed-out pop for a crowd that seemed to grow with every song. For garage fans worldwide who don’t think Melbourne and labels like R.I.P Society can keep up with cities like Memphis and Brooklyn and labels like Goner and Hozac (Respected all those cities and labels are) this was an evening to prove them wrong.
There was, then, a serious buzz before Woollen Kits took the stage. The crowds at record release parties are often a blend of fans who’ve long waited for the evening and those who want to see what this band is all about. Woollen Kits stepped onstage looking relaxed but confident and wasted little time working their way through their debut LP.
Sure, they didn’t stray much from the formula on the record, but that’s not what the Kits are all about. As proven on Friday evening, they espouse a tight-Mod-ish aesthetic that’s strangely full of paradoxes. The bad were able to pack a succinct punch even on the cramped stage, all the while sounding loose and jangly enough to keep patrons heading back to the bar. Tracks like “Out of Whack,” “Sloan” and “University Narcolepsy” were standouts, showcasing the originality within their song-writing. Yet still, the band looked remarkably carefree, considering all eyes were on them. Their attitude and performance certainly bodes well for their upcoming American tour.
Their set lasted around half an hour, but in the eyes of the crowd, that hardly mattered; their weekend had gotten the incredible kick-off they’d hoped for.
BY JOSHUA KLOKE
LOVED: Picking up a new LP for the sake of “Research.”
HATED: That I couldn’t listen to the LP on my walk home.
DRANK: As many pints as my light wallet would allow.