The Vaudeville Smash @ Cherry Bar 16/12
Christmas can be a stressful time of year. Shopping centres are full of emo kids sulking out the front of McDonald’s, car parks become rage filled battle grounds for middle aged women, and the streets and bars of this fair city are overrun with bogans fresh from company Christmas parties. Thankfully, during this season of silliness we have gigs to take our minds off the outside insanity.

Consisting of three brothers Marc Lucchesi (vocals/sax), Dan Lucchesi (drums/vocals) and Luca Lucchesi (bass) and with Ben Timmis (keys/synth) and Nicholas Lam – (guitar/synth), The Vaudeville Smash has been touring extensively since their creation, performing at South By South West earlier this year with the invitation to do it again next year. Taking their name from an Italian arcade game, they are here to bring both sexy and yacht rock back.

“What is yacht rock?” you may ask. Think of the smooth, 70s-80s sounds of Hall & Oates, Toto and Kenny Loggins and you would be venturing into the right area. A genre once confined to compilation CD’s on late night infomercials or hidden shamefully under the bed seems to be having a resurgence. When asked why out of all genres they chose this one, lead singer Marc Lucchesi just smiles and says “we liked it.”

Their set is light and highly danceable. The dance floor is jam packed and stays that way for their whole set. In a swirling cacophony of drums, bass, saxophone and rather wonderful tambourine skills, The Vaudeville Smash put on a show that was easy to watch and listen to for the most part. In true yacht rock style, their lyrics are equal parts sweet and slightly creepy. They sing of roller discos, schoolgirls and even Sailor Moon. They manage to dodge the almost genre defining cheesiness of their peers and genuinely love performing live and playing music in general.

They clearly are a fun band and their following is huge. What was extremely confusing is why they were actually playing at Cherry. Maybe this gig was booked long before they really took off on the live scene or perhaps the venue was not properly researched. As a hard rock institution, the breezy yacht rock tunes of The Vaudeville Smash were somewhat lost on the Cherry Bar crowd. Think sending Hi-5 to a death metal venue.

To say The Vaudeville Smash divided opinions is a massive understatement. Perhaps their breezy yacht rock tunes were somewhat lost on the Cherry Bar crowd. Reactions ranged from crazed dancing to quiet amusement to downright confusion. The problem with the modern resurgence of yacht rock is that it is hard to tell who is being serious and who is taking the piss. Unfortunately, a lot of people seemed to believe The Vaudeville Smash were the latter and therefore either tuned out or in turn took the piss out of them. For the most part however, they were showered with close to adoration by their assembled fans. During a brief conversation with Marc after their show, he was interrupted countless times by people (okay, mostly girls) expressing their delight at the gig they had just witnessed.

Honestly, The Vaudeville Smash is not for everyone. They have a very niche appeal but in saying that, they know their niche and they do it very well. To watch them joyously throwing themselves about stage playing music they clearly love can bring a smile to even the most hardened of music fans and as long as you can appreciate them for what they are, you may just find yourself jumping about with them.

– Madison Thomas