Hey Geronimo are an up-and-coming band from Brisbane, Australia – but they’ve toured quite a bit around the eastern side of Australia in the past year and really made a name for themselves when their iPhone-game-inspired video for their song Why Don’t We Do Something turned heads (or in other words, went viral). During 2012 they released a self-titled EP and had a Special Best tour (supported by another terrific Australian band, The Griswolds). They ended the year on a high note with a video clip for their song Dreamboat Jack (dubbed the “world’s greatest puppet chase”) and a 60s-themed Christmas party.
I had the pleasure of seeing them twice this week, on Wednesday at the Beach Road Hotel (Bondi) and on Thursday at the Brighton Up Bar (city Sydney). Having seen them a handful of times before, I was curious to see if they had any new tracks up their sleeves. Wednesday was a rather short set, which started with their new song Laser Gun Show. It’s very much Hey Geronimo and fits in nicely with their upbeat tracks, with vocals pretty similar to I Got No Money, which you’ll find on their EP. The venue was extremely roomy and comfortable, but the past few times I’ve been there, people have always been too shy to get close to the stage.
Guitarist Ross introduced Trim Your Wings as a song about his budgerigar. There weren’t enough people in the audience to fill up the room, and most people seemed chilled and there were even a few people playing pool off to the side. Co-op Bookshop remains one of my favourites because it springs to mind every time I pass my university co-op bookshop, and as usual it was one of the first five songs, and as usual, there was the jumping between the lines in the chorus, and the lovely addition of a trumpeter. A few people joined in the fun by standing up and dancing, but it wasn’t until the middle of the set that they really warmed to the music, especially when the band played their Dan Kelly Song – a love song to one of the band’s favourite musicians, along with Carbon Affair – another upbeat song with Ross’s guitar playing a prominent feature.
As usual, the band ended with the song that started it all for them – Why Don’t We Do Something.
Thursday could have been seen as a repeat of Wednesday, but better. It was my first time at the Brighton Up Bar, which was exceptionally small, and had a weird placement of the stairs being in the middle of the room. The stage was very small, but as usual, the band made do. There seemed to be more people present for Thursday’s show, probably because Hey Geronimo were supported by two other pop/rock bands, Love Parade and Sea Legs. Love Parade failed at impressing the audience after two of the guitarist’s guitar strings broke, and they came across as rather unprepared. Sea Legs did a much better job sharing their music, inviting the audience to download their music online for free. They managed to get a lot of the crowd standing up and bopping their heads, getting them warmed up for what was to be a fun night.
Despite the unusual venue, which has been home to some very good gigs with some terrific bands – Hey Geronimo did the fantastic job of making the stage and the entire place theirs. Again, the band started with Laser Gun Show, played the poppy Girl Who Likes Me, and tossed in a few of the usual. Halfway during the set they introduced a song they were working on titled One Way Driver, a Beatles-esque country-style ballad, which proved anyone who thought this band was just a replica of The Wiggles – completely and utterly wrong.
The band jumped right back into I Got No Money, which instantly got the crowd dancing and waving their hands in the air, just in time for Dreamboat Jack and its fitting lyrics, “Girls shake your hands, if you want to go out with the drummer in the band”. The trumpeter had joined them yet again, and there was a slight change of lyrics from “drummer” to “trumpeter”.
Just before the band ended with Why Don’t We Do Something, they played a cover of Talking Heads’ classic Burning Down The House, which has never ceased to impress fans both old and new, and fans both old and young. This definitely got the audience singing, if not dancing, and proved that the band only go from strength to strength.
For an interview with Hey Geronimo, click here.