16 June, Rad Bar
As Mammals took to the stage at Wollongong’s home of music, Rad Bar, the band put on a bunch of OTT headwear. Guy Brown wore a casual denim cap, because being the frontman you don’t need to draw any extra attention to yourself. On the other hand, the rest of the band saw a wide brim cricket hat on the bass player, a straw fedora on the drummer, and an extra wide brim floppy hat on the lead guitarist. In true drummer form, the fedora was gone by the end of the first song.
You could tell these boys weren’t from the ‘Gong as they had a laptop on the ground. Rad Bar isn’t the place you risk leaving expensive equipment on the ground.
Mammals kicked off their set with new single, The Message, from April’s Chase Your Bliss EP, and the crowd was into it straight away, which is always a great sign.
I’d watched a couple of YouTube videos before the show and was sceptical about them performing a good live set, but they proved me wrong and I was drawn in from the word go.
One of the local mad dogs, Marty, chimed in by the second song with his middle finger high in the air, which actually means he’s loving it.
Mid-way through the set we were lucky enough to get a ‘World Premiere’ of a new instrumental track with the working title Daughter. After turning the microphone stand back around and hitting HIMSELF in the face (normally at Rad it’s the crowd who force the microphone face jab), Brown yelled, “That was the first time we’ve played that live… This next track is the first Mammals track ever written.” The band then kicked into a song released way back in 2012 called Carried.
The use of percussion throughout the set by all members of the band was a highlight for me, making their songs sound as close to the recordings while also keeping it live and not putting it all on the backing track.
A sneaky chant from Marty came close the end of the set – “We want sweat, we want sweat”, which did ring true to the night. The boys could’ve put more energy or more crowd involvement into the show, but the crowd made up for it/didn’t care anyway, as they all danced and made the night their own. For me it was possibly the only downfall, and on a bigger stage, maybe there would’ve been more energy from the band – get to the next show and find out!
The set ended on their pop banger Chase Your Bliss, making everyone in the room vibe out hard, as one seemingly drunk male fan got to sneak in a kiss midway through the song. The crowd obviously didn’t want the night to end as they screamed for more but were cut off by the house music.