The annual Party For Stu was a heartfelt, punk-filled tribute to a beloved Aussie icon

The annual Party For Stu was a heartfelt, punk-filled tribute to a beloved Aussie icon

Words by Rhys McKenzie
Photography by Matt Gleeson

This reviewer wasn’t aware of how much love was in the air on the night of Wednesday April 24.

Every year, punk rock veterans Australian Kingswood Factory host a party for their former bandmate Stu Bullas, who sadly passed away in 2011. With the help of fellow label mates, Bombay Rock was packed for a night of fast-paced music.

One of the openers, The Daggar, powered through their nine-track set to start off the night. It’s clear The Daggar like to keep things fast and appropriately Aussie – why Aussie you may ask? After the first song was finished, frontman Muzz requested “a coupla VBs” and the crowd was immediately sold.

One gentleman also started his own moshpit, despite the fact his pants were unable to remain on his waist. The five-piece continued on, throwing their dynamic songs at the crowd – their new track, ‘Sexy Beast’, was a highlight. An enjoyable set with killer vocals and lightning fast solos, The Daggar were on point.

Three-piece The Balls (and their beards) then took to the stage. It became apparent the band were a good fit for the lineup with their brand of punk/stoner rock. Punishing their Fenders (a black Telecaster and Jazz Bass), The Balls busted out their song ‘Fallout’, showing off their sheer power to the crowd.

Despite someone in the crowd begging for a Slayer cover, The Balls kept the ball rolling and produced a focused set. What was most impressive was their swansong which was well performed and showed off their skill. The track itself felt like their most progressive track, swaying between the tempos of old fashioned UK punk and a slow, almost Pink Floyd pace, with the drums eventually thundering the song back into punk again. The Balls were solid.

Finally came the headliners, Australian Kingswood Factory.  During the sound check, it was clear the enlarged crowd were busting to see these guys. Frontman Lindsey Bush started the set with a soft and short guitar piece. It was the calm before the storm, with his two bandmates blasting into their hour-long set with their signature head-banging punk rock shortly after.

Energetic and powerful, AKF showed no signs of wear or tear, keeping true to their social media tagline: “DIRTY, FAST and BUILT TO LAST”.

Respectful of their venue, AKF dedicated their song ‘Raise Your Glasses’ to Bombay Rock. Pleasurable to a fault, they demonstrated their prowess like pros and ended the first section of their set with their thunderous track ‘Rock and Roll MF’.

They then revealed a surprise: the trio became a quartet with the frontman’s younger brother taking on lead guitar duties and Bush playing his late bandmate’s guitar. The set was explosive and really a step up, with their first song having a bluesier feel and clever vocal harmonies.

Claiming they only had a few songs left, the band kept on flying, extending by more than four songs before they finished to raucous applause from the crowd. The roaring lineup made the night a heartfelt tribute to a beloved musician and a solid celebration of punk rock lovers.

Highlight: Australian Kingswood Factory’s riotous set.

Lowlight: It had it all.

Crowd favourite: When AKF brought up Lindsey Bush’s younger brother to make a four-piece.