As the first band of the night, Guineafowl, took to the stage, the two disco balls hanging from the centre of The Corner Hotel seemed to attract both people and energy en masse, like twin supernovas at the centre of a galaxy of pure positivity, forming bonds as lovers cuddled and dancers brushed shoulders.
It’s hard to write major-chord dance rock, but the charismatic 5-piece openers nailed it, spreading smiles across the generously open space of the famous Richmond venue. By the time the second act hit the stage – the Melbourne girl/boy duo Big Scary (who could teach The White Stripes a thing or two about rock) – the place was packed with eager faces; the scene was set for one of the indie scene’s most vibrant and uplifting bands, The Grates.
The headliners’ frontwoman Patience Hodgson is certainly beautiful, charismatic and enchanting, with a “fuck what people think” attitude, and thus thoroughly rocks out at every show she plays. A more enthusiastic, positive, and energy filled girl would be hard to find in any contemporary band.
No, Patience is not an ordinary girl, and The Grates are not an ordinary band. Born to entertain, brimming with joy, and oozing sexuality that appeals to both halves of our species, Patience characteristically jumped up and down, hair spinning every which way; stage dived, dedicated songs to swooning fanboys and groups of dancing divas, and finished the encore by throwing confetti into the crowd, the floating colours simply augmenting the sense of magic that was already in the air.
Leaving the stage to a revelry of raised hands and wolf whistles, The Grates were certainly worthy of the praise attributed to them from every smiling mouth that exited The Corner. Phrases like “Oh my God, I got to touch her face!” could be discerned through the din of taxi hailing and general night-time revelry on Swan Street. It takes an unequivocally joyful band to produce the energy that filled Saturday night, a most welcome warming change in the heart of Melbourne Winter.
– Angus Maiden