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  • Tiana Speter

GIG REVIEW: THE VANNS (The Factory Theatre, January 2019)

pic by Mel Gleissner 

 THE VANNS, PACIFIC AVENUE, GEORGIA JUNE // The Factory Theatre, Sydney // 12th January, 2019


Mix three indie-rock locals with a sold out all-ages crowd on a Saturday night in Sydney and what do you get? Aside from some aggressive under-age makeout sessions spotted in the corner, you're ultimately gifted with an evening of sunny riffs, fluid sounds and good vibes all round, guided capably by Georgia June, Pacific Avenue and headliners The Vanns


Kicking off the unofficial theme for the evening (hair and dreamy tones), Sydney pop-rockers Georgia June bust out with contagious 80s/90s vibes, balancing crisp guitars with self-deprecating millennial narratives, affably helmed by the group's namesake Georgia June. It's a nostalgic sonic burst back to the days of Blondie and The Divinyls for those allowed in the bar section, and a charismatic starter overall for the ever-growing crowd.

Following on is proof that four Wollongong boys went time travelling to the 70s, raided the best Hawaiian shirts Vinnies had to offer then dropped by The Factory to lure the crowd into submission with a stunning array of indie rock. Shimmering guitars and lush textures aside, Pacific Avenue are a group who know their strengths and how to absolutely smash a live set (and little wonder, given their touring CV alongside The Wombats, Skeggs, British India and more since their inception in 2017).  And while the quartet are certainly embracing the ongoing Aussie love affair of reggae, indie pop and cruisey rock, there's a refreshing touch of grit and glamour that is equal parts memorable and mesmerising as hell - plus best on ground for the night absolutely goes to bassist Jack Kay for his scene-stealing hip poppin'.


Taking the stage next to rowdy acclaim are the reason this gig upgraded from The Metro to The Factory - Wollongong lads The Vanns have been having a moment for quite some time now, and 2019 finds them in especially fine form. It's easy to see why this lot have endeared themselves so rapidly, from their rollicking beats to their electric showmanship (and all that luscious hair, of course). But this ain't just a paint-by-numbers set played by bunch of pretty boys - The Vanns are a well oiled machine armed with clever songwriting, passionate energy and committed evolution to the modern rock world.

 THE VANNS //  pic by Mel Gleissner 

The set offers up plenty for the swarming crowd to shout along to ('Guilty Love', 'Skinny Legs') as well as tracks to pump up the already dangerously high sweat factor ('Keep My Cool', 'Belmore St'), with frontman Jimmy Vann at times channeling the swagger of Michael Hutchence and a Northern Beaches Dave Le-aupepe vibe.  And amid the glittering grooves and poppin' beats we are also greeted with a jaunty little cover of The Boss's iconic 'Dancing In The Dark', a show-stopping solo from guitarist Cam Little during the Gang Of Youths-esque 'Harder To Find', and a brief acoustic homage to a mate to slowly bring the night to a close.

All in all, it's a night of dancefloor stomps and young love romps that hits the mark, with extra special mention to the sound and lighting guns who cranked the jazz up to dizzying heights. There's little wonder Aussie indie rock is riding such a high right now when our local talent is this goddamn fun.



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