Review: Dune Rats pack out The Sunflower Lounge

  • Grunge slackers Dune Rats gave a frenzied performance in Birmingham on Saturday November 21st 2015
  • A mixture of covers and originals energised fans of the Australian band

Tonight’s Birmingham Promoters gig really should have been issued with a caveat – the first three rows will get high, both literally and metaphorically. For by the time Dune Rats, the Antipodean grunge machines, swagger onto the stage, most of the crowd have smoked enough goofanthol to make Nathan Williams look like Nathan Barley.

The sizeable audience, which do a good job of making the charmingly cramped Sunflower Lounge look packed, have come here for two reasons – to get high and get hurt, and as soon as the first note crashes wheezily into view, they’re off, bodies cascading, beer bottles flying and man-buns molesting. By the time they unleash the blistering ‘Dalai Lama Big Banana Marijuana’, microphones have been flung and singer Danny Beusar has been groped, grabbed and flung into the air, freshly anointed by a small army of loyal dune rats.

Their cover of Violent Femmes’ ‘Blister in the Sun’ has become something of a staple now, originally instilled to placate “Pommie c**ts”, as Beusar puts it. It ticks the right boxes, though; more and more people get flung around, which is no mean feat considering the ceiling is as small as a child’s spare bedroom. It only adds to the frenzied atmosphere, which continues as the Brisbane band launch into the urgent ‘Red Light Green Light’.

While the show isn’t sold out, the loyal followers that watch are already fully versed in Dune Rats’ slacker aesthetic, and by the time the trio wrap up proceedings, Sunflower Lounge looks more like downtown Nagasaki. A great gig, but the comedown is gonna hurt.

Samuel Lambeth

Tied to the '90s. I love anything with a good melody. Favourite acts include DIIV, Best Coast, Wavves, MBV, The Lemonheads, Bully, Pavement, Weezer, Wolf Alice, Mac DeMarco and Dinosaur Jr.