Comprising an ecstatic Melbournian line-up for the evening, Organ Donor kicked off the first of three massive nights in celebration of The Bendigo Hotel’s 7th Birthday Bash. The three-piece unleashed their defiant hardcore rhythms throughout the filling band room, setting the pace for the evening’s line up to follow.
Batpiss are next in line, who hit the stage with a loud presence; distorted vocals mix through their coarse layers of spiralling guitar licks and dooming drums. Bringing the boozy crowd to the front of the room are the deepening grooves of their set list that turns into rounds of applause as they slur The Bendi a happy birthday. The venue doesn’t look big enough for the amount of punters who have managed to find enough space to stand. This makes it hard to believe that it’s become big enough to provide the space for the swelling pit of jumping heads that’s on the rise, though they’re making it work as they jump wildly about throughout the Batpiss show.
The bar has already stopped their $5 Lemmy specials for the evening and they’re out of Melbourne Bitter’s… You’d think that after seven years they’d know that their clientele can drink a lot more than they can provide, but they handle the never-ending queue very casually. It’s a no bull shit event and despite the lack of beer, everyone’s having a rad time as the line up progresses.
A fusion of 70’s inspired Aussie punk, rock and metal – and everything in between – soon take the stage to bring out a new sounding level. Known to the underground as Power, the three-piece play with screeching guitars and booming amps that widen the pit and even more people have shuffled in through the front bar to find space in the electric darkness. As their chugging riffs fuel their rockin’ set, the line for the bar is backed into the mosh and it’s sounding (and looking kinda) like the sound track for what a new Mad Max film might. Amongst the lingering stench of Melbourne Bitter is the sweat of energised fans. Their front man is soon topless, staring into the unknown as he bellows into the mic, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeahhhhh!” and the energy of the night seems to be only building as they tell the crowd to “Giddy up!” before bringing it to an unanticipated close.
Layered with smoke and laughter, the beer garden is again filled up and the good times are continued as the headliners for the evening, Cosmic Psychos, are next on the bill. Every second beer is held safely in one of their ‘FUCK SHIT CUNT’ stubby coolers, muffling the sound of many drinks clinked in cheers. Before long the garden empties almost as quickly as it filled; punters have taken off back inside to where the Psychos are soon belting out ‘Nice Day To Go To The Pub’. The entrance is crammed tight but space occasionally flurries as the crowd moves in a swell of riptide waves to their classics. Their guitarist, John McKeering, looks like he had made the most of the good weather at the pub as the carry into their set, though it doesn’t sound like it has affected his playing!
The side stage amps that are hung from the ceiling begin swinging in the directions of the crowd, though they’re thankfully soon tamed by the more cautious punters. Blasted at an ear-piercing level, their songs produce the appropriate energy to match that of the overall atmosphere. Someone’s sparked a joint and the Psycho’s quickly ask “Who’s smoking mull?” No one shares, but instead laugh.
Turning into quite the sight, the middle of the floor constantly turns in circles as fans move about to catch their fellow stage diving, crowd surfing allies of the night. In between a song their bass guitarist, Ross Knight, grabs for the mic asking, “Where are we Macca?” to which their guitarist replies, “We’re in Collingwood and this song’s called ‘Fuckwit City’!” And they’re off again into their set which also included ‘Bullshit For Brains’ and another one which Knights adds, “We played this at Donald Trump’s circumcision just last week!”
Remaining undisturbed by the constant splashes of booze and texture of slimy sweat, the Psycho’s deliver their high-energy fans a rather memorable set for their first ever show at the legendary Bendigo Hotel.