Beset with problems including floods and Covid, the King Street Carnival finally kicked off this weekend. The line up this year was jam packed with established as well as up and coming Australian artists. The Carnival hosts bands in the multitude of pubs, small bars and other venues that are scattered around the inner West.
First up for me today is Private Function at the Marly. I arrive late and the crowd is going off. I try, but I can’t get close to the stage, so I stand at the back watching the Melbourne band delight the crowd with a formidable set.
It’s hard to choose where to go next, but I jog back to the Botany View just in time to Catch River Dreams. The pub is packed and the patrons clearly enjoy the alt-country music that is delivered by Carl Manwarring and his band.
The concerts are coming thick and fast now, so I rush to the Moshpit where the Minties are on stage. The Moshpit is a small venue and the Minties have the audience enthralled with their blues and funk-infused rock.
Next on my list is Second Idol, but they are way across at the Hiway Bikini in Enmore, if nothing else, I will definitely be hitting 10 000 steps today! I make my way into the Bikini just as Second Idol are finishing their set. Too bad, I really love the post-punk attitude of this band.
I head back towards the Union and decide that this is where I will stay for the rest of the evening because one of the Secret Artists that will be playing this pub tonight are Tropical Fuck Storm-a band I have been wanting to see for a long time.
First up are Supahoney playing their alt-rock to a rapt audience. Some fans get up on their feet and start dancing in front of the stage, I can see the sun slowly setting through the windows behind the band – it’s great to be out watching live music again.
Gloomie takes the stage with her band. She plays a short set packed with her infectious brand of dream pop that puts the whole pub in a good mood, which is a good thing because a tropical storm is about to blow in.
By the time that Tropical Fuck Storm take the stage, the Union is heaving. The pub is packed and sweaty, there is a crowd outside watching through the windows because they have not managed to secure a spot inside. TFS kick off their set and the place goes wild. People are pushing towards the stage and everyone is head banging. The sound is excoriating I feel like my eyebrows are being ripped off, but I am loving it. Lauren Hammel is mercilessly beating her drums, seemingly to oblivion. On my side, multi-instrumentalist, Erica Dunn stalks the edge of the stage obviously enjoying the crowd’s reaction. The band plays for longer than their allotted time and then do an encore. It has been a long time since they played Sydney and it is clear that they have been missed. I wander out of the Union feeling dazed and exhausted. I can’t wait for the 2023 version of the King Street Carnival with hopefully the return of outdoor stages.