Photos by Rochelle Flack
The emerging lo-fi rockers know how to throw a party.
Off the back of their March single ‘Ghost’, RAT!hammock capped off a sold-out mini east coast tour with a huge homecoming show at The Curtin.
Hidden behind a mystifying big red door, a winding staircase leads you to The Curtin’s bandroom. Its interior has a dive aesthetic, reminiscent of iconic late ’90s/early noughties TV settings such as the Bronze in Buffy the Vampire Slayer or P3 in Charmed. The number of people wearing Doc Martens and Converse high tops was definitely a testament to that.
The audience was welcomed wonderfully by dream pop singer Denise Le Menice (also known as Ali Flintoff, the lead vocalist of BOAT SHOW) and indie-rockers Fan Girl. They were the perfect openers for the headlining lo-fi band.
RAT!hammock are still relatively fresh to the scene but have been well received by stations like triple j, 3RRR and SYN. Across their short tenure, the four-piece (comprised of Jackson Phelan, Sean Conran, Tom Dowling and Jack Nicholson) have grabbed the indie-rock genre by the tail and made it their own.
Their one-hour set was the ideal length for the band’s repertoire. It seemed the crowd knew the lyrics to every song, something evident in ‘Love You Til I Die’ which saw the mosh singing in perfect unison with frontman Phelan. There was no pretentiousness here with the audience full involving themselves in the show and RAT!hammock gave it all back.
The four-piece are effortless performers which makes them easily loveable and endearing. They’re extremely talented but they don’t parade their expertise. This was made apparent by their humble interactions with the crowd, and their simple performance style.
It was a pleasant surprise to see the band bring on fellow muso and mate Merpire to perform ‘June’. The crowd couldn’t contain their excitement at her appearance and on stage, she and Phelan performed with amazing chemistry. Keeping their audience guessing, RAT!hammock then launched into a flawless rendition of MGMT’s ‘Time to Pretend’. The lyrics came to the crowd like second nature and at this point, the show was becoming more than a gig, but an epic party.
Their new single, ‘Ghost’, emerged midway and perfectly balanced the set; ‘Power’ followed robust and catchy with the chorus, “You use your power for good”. Their final song ‘Mud’ was a happy ending, with everyone swaying along to the lyrics, “I will always be your receiver”.
Drawing a well-behaved crowd whereby women made up much of the mosh, RAT!hammock are a really exciting talent that will no doubt be performing to bigger crowds on tours to come.
Highlight: When they brought special guest Merpire on stage for ‘June’.
Lowlight: The floors were so sticky.
Crowd favourite: RAT!hammock’s incredible rendition of MGMT’s ‘Time to Pretend’.