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Polaroids Of Androids


Purple Sneakers NYE House Party @ Manning Bar

I felt old as soon as I walked through the doors of Sydney Uni's Manning Bar. Actually I felt old that whole day with my arthiritis playing up a fair bit and my Rugger chino pants not staying up. But yes, I felt old when I stepped into the bar and glanced around at the other peeps in attendance.

I kinda knew that would be the case though. Purple Sneakers has a reputation about being 'for da kids', with it's lovely hipster vibe and drunken carefree swagger. But yeah, don't get me wrong - I have no problems with that. I just kinda feel like I am the old dude in the corner bringing down the kids from their Jager-bomb high and telling them how much better music was in the 90s, before everyone started to try and sound like the Pixies.


As I was in the line waiting to get identified as 'legal age' (um... I have a gold drivers license) I could hear SPOD starting up, introducing himself to the crowd...

"Hello everyone, we are the best band in the world. We are SPOD."

Firstly, SPOD is probably not the best band in the world - no matter how much we guff on about how great he is it's most likely not a 'fact'.

As everyone already knows, the top secret government experiment hybrid band which features Weezer (circa 1994), At The Drive-In (circa 1998) and Leonard Cohen (circa whenever) is the best band on the planet - at the moment. Well, either them or Kings Of Leon. Or Van She. Or Cassette Kids.

Secondly, he was standing on stage alone - so there really wasn't any 'band'. Just one dude, armed with some electronic backing and a solid amount of charisma. That said, this is exactly the kind of fabulous tom-foolery statement that landed El SPOD our Person Of The Year award. It's so ridiculous that it's awesome.

SPOD followed his introductory speech with an early New Years countdown. It was about 9.15pm.

Even five minutes later when I finally made it downstairs to see him there were people looking incredibly confused by what they were witnessing. He prowled around the stage, swore like a German brothel owner and did an above average job of 'kicked off da party'.

His set, which mainly consisted of songs from his most recent album, Superfrenz, featured all of his signature moves - elegant stripping, balloon-throwing, cowbell-ing, Nintendo DS jamming (with his face!) and gentle man hugging.

He closed out the set with a 'shout out' to yours truly. It was the greatest moment of the night/2008/my life. I will surely be telling my great great grandkids about it in twenty years or so. Thank you Mr SPOD. Legend... dairy.

Frightened Rabbit

Frightened Rabbit were the only REAL reason I attended this party. With no Sydney sideshow announced this was really my only option to see the Scottish lads do their thing.

Frightened Rabbit
Photo by Wayne.

Even after playing Pyramid Rock Festival and Peats Ridge Festival in the last two days, obviously exhausted and battled the usual festival-style problems (less than perfect sound etc) they STILL absolutely killed it. The crowd, besides a brief moment when some frat boys pushed through for one song, seemed to mostly consist of people like me who had bought a ticket to the event just to see Frightened Rabbit perform. There was lots of crowd singing and a great response to everything the group did (whether that was playing their great morbid pop songs or drinking Johnnie Walker straight out of the bottle).

The Modern Leper (aka the best song of 2008) was my personal highlight BUT Old Old Fashioned, the perfect blend of The Greys and Square 9 and the grande nature of the closing track Keep Yourself Warm were also standout moments in their faultless 40 minute set. They were everything I hoped for and more. Brilliant stuff. Hopefully, they return soon and do a 'proper' Sydney show.

Set List (via Wayne)
I Feel Better
Fast Blood
Old Old Fashioned
Good Arms Vs. Bad Arms
The Modern Leper
Head Rolls Off
The Greys/Square 9
Keep Yourself Warm


My night was kinda over at by this point. It was about 11pm and I had seen the two acts I was really interested in. I did, however, see a bit of Sparkadia from the back away from the kiddly dinks and thought they were pretty damn good.

Every time I see them perform I think the same thing - "damn... the lead singer's voice is amazing". It really is a little bit surreal, pretty much sounding as remarkable live as it does on record. Of what I caught of their set the two 'classic' hits Too Much To Do and Morning Light were my personal highlights.


Bluejuice took too long setting up and although they were scheduled to start their set 10 minutes before midnight they didn't kick in until after the countdown. The countdown which was handled by SPOD! Yes, that's right - Mr Awesome returned to the stage and counted us into 2009! With the help of a cowbell! Epic? Yes.

We watched a little bit of Bluejuice and they were good BUT we had a feeling the low lifes down at 'that dodgy pub in Newtown' (you know what I am talking about) were going to be a bit more entertaining so we left and went there.

On a more positive note - we had successfully hung out with the cool, young kids AND (as far we could tell) they didn't think we were complete losers! WOW! Success! 2009 is looking good already!

Filed Under
Frightened Rabbit


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you went to the townie after, didn't you? ha.

I felt really intimidated by all the young people... it's quite weird because I don't associate myself with them even though I'm the same age. I felt very out of place.

we stayed at that one stage... saw the jezebels, teenagers in tokyo, spod, sparkadia and the beginning of bluejuice before we hit the road. it was an alright party I guess...not great, though the countdown was EPIC!

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

it's where everyone knows your name.. like cheers.. i am that fat dude.. norm?
well i want to be him anyway

1 decade ago


you need to be more like kelsey grammer if you want to have your own spin-off series one day jonny.

1 decade ago


i am so angry i missed the count down
i found extensive gin & beer drinking got me through entering a quarter life crisis that night

how good i scottish accents!?

1 decade ago

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