Despite the freezing cold Adelaide weather, the hipsters and indie kids were in full form this evening at the Ed Castle hotel, were no doubt getting ready for an evening with local music heroes, The Last Broadcast, as well as the very eccentric and electrifying Melbourne band, Red Ink.

The Ed Castle hotel, known as the premier venue in Adelaide for up and coming, and underground indie bands, had an ominous feel to it this evening. The venue’s dim lighting combined with the cold weather gave it an aura which seemed to be very noir in a sense. The underground feel made you believe as though you might just be lucky enough to discover the next big Australian band before they hit the big time.

To kick start things, local band, The Bakers Digest, opened the show. The boys hit the stage with a roar of a beautiful clean guitar and an organ sound that could make you feel as though you were standing in a cathedral, not to mention that front man Tom Mason resembled Grizzly Adams wielding  a Stratocaster. The Adelaide boys played a half hour set of what could be described as 70s rock ’n’ roll, very strongly influenced by bands such as Steppenwolf and The Doors. Their music feels like watching a band open for The Doors back in 1970. The boys from Bakers Digest performed a very strong and compelling set for the small crowd of twenty or so people; it was a pity they didn’t get more people into the band room.

Next on the bill was Melbourne band, Red Ink. In recent times this has been one busy band, playing a slew of headline shows around the country not to mention playing in high schools as part of the Rock the Schools initiative.

The band exploded on stage with a level of energy that was paramount, instantly immersing the crowd with their dynamic stage presence and a choice of very funky shirts. The Adelaide crowd had escalated to around fifty people and all of them were under the influence of Red Ink. After two songs it was evident that front man, John Jakubenko, was not going to allow the crowd to stand still as he screamed, ‘Come this way you nervous bitches’. Within a second, the crowd had moved forward, showing the assertiveness and control that the band had over everyone.

The crowd was instantly infected with the energy of Red Ink, much like downing several energy drinks, which was really easy to see when the band played some of their better known tracks. The entire crowd sang and danced to the extremely catchy single ‘What My Friends Say’.

Red Ink display a charm and cockiness on stage not seen by many other bands. It is exhilarating to see these Melbourne boys live. It is also impossible to stand still watchning a set and if you try, front man John Jakubenko will not stand for it, so be prepared to dance along.

It was now nearing 12.30am; the crowd had evidently had more than a few drinks and were getting rather excited for locals, The Last Broadcast, to take the stage.  The band hit the stage like true musical veterans, their dirty distorted guitars hit and we were off to a very rock ‘n’ roll start to the set. The crowd was moving and dancing along as front man, Tom Kurzel, unleashed songs that had a very melancholy feel to them, perhaps because his voice has a very raspy and emotional element to it. This was best seen during the third song of the set when he declared the band was going to play a song about breaking up, with glasses of beer  raised and the band establishing an emotional connection with the crowd that could not be severed.

At that stage it was difficult to believe that the band could top the moment but this was to be quickly disproven. The band welcomed a brass section featuring members of the 20th Century Graduates. The trumpets created a very strong dynamic infusion of rock and roll that the whole crowd was dancing along to, while one of the main highlights of the set was the band playing an amazing cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’. This cover was spectacular to say the least, taking the classic and adding their own twist with dirty guitars, raspy vocals and a beautiful musical backing.

Aside from the spectacular Dylan cover, the band played latest single, ‘Baby, I Know You’, from their upcoming EP, which the whole crowd seemed to love – evident by much drunken dancing.

The Last Broadcast performed a fantastic set – one you simply can’t turn away from.

–       Matthew Mercieca