Entering a gig and feeling young compared to the majority of the audience is an increasingly rare experience for some reviewers and tonight's Rubber Records 20th Birthday Party ranks highly in one of those experiences. Most of the acts on tonight's impressive bill had their heydays in the 90's, so again, if you weren't in Australia in the 90's a lot of the cultural reference points may be somewhat lost on you. With nearly twenty bands across two rooms there's a lot to pack in and as almost expected at such ambitious affairs, everything's running late. The Grapes play a set of nice melodic tunes with Sherry Rich on acoustic guitar proving smooth vocals with a hint of living and Ashley Naylor on electric guitar adding a little too much fret board noddling to the point of distraction. Heading into the main room The Casanovas are on earlier than expected and thus playing to less people than expected, their old school Oz-Rock landing upon the ears of a half full room, new songs are aired and go down well, but the audience isn't quite ready to commit to any of the crowd surfing or head banging that perhaps the band needs to be fully appreciated. Hot Little hands are by far the youngest and (perhaps because of their youth) most vibrant band on tonight's bill, the band and their fans looking completely out of place amongst the throngs of aging rockers. Their music is fresh, different and the highlight of the night. Even take to the stage looking like a bunch of everyone's favourite ('cool') uncles, the purveyors of highly successful alternative rock in the 90's; it takes the band a little while to warm up. Their music lacks the edge it used to possess but most of the rapidly filling room are enjoying reliving their youth and when the band are joined by Vince from the Underground Lovers proceedings really move up a notch, once a few special guests are reeled out it really feels like a party! Codrazine end the night, the entire band resplendent in a highly appropriate uniform of black, the band are a more downbeat end to the night, but were something of a labour of love for the owners of Rubber Records and with the band recently announcing something of a reunion planned, an upbeat joining of past and future for the label.

Published in InPress