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“F*cking peak!” – Amyl and the Sniffers might be a stadium band now

The band opened Weekend 2 of Primavera introducing themselves to a bunch of Dua Lipa fans

This is gossip, but I heard a rumour once that when an artist installs a thrust ramp out into the audience others that take to the stage before them aren’t allowed to step foot on it. When Dave Grohl runs down the runway the screams aren’t quite as loud if the support band did it first. Or so they say, as if the audience are all thinking ‘I wonder what this bit sticking out is for?’ before live music’s worst reveal happens.

Amy Taylor has previous with blurting out the punchline, opening for The Foo Fighters, in fact. Tonight, pretty much opening the second weekend of Primavera, it’s Dua Lipa’s parade she rains on, saving her ramp run for Amyl & the Sniffers’ final song, stopping to flex her muscles like bodybuilders or children do in the mirror, to cheers at every new pose she pulls. The band play out, she shouts “Fucking peak! Goodnight!”, and is gone.

The second half of Primavera has just kicked off and Taylor is possibly the most magnetic performer of the whole thing so far; her band are one of the tightest and best drilled.

You might have seen the Australian punk band play a wild show in a small venue, been blown away but ultimately felt that that’s where they belong. For a group who formed with the sole intention of playing yard parties in Melbourne for friends, it makes sense, and nothing quite beats seeing them in a place where the ceiling feels too low and the floor feels like it might not be up to its job. But some big-stage shows (and endless touring) have clearly carved Amyl into something much bigger than anyone could have imagined. Taylor is a punk rock superstar, pure and simple, bouncing around the ginormous stage in front of a ginormous crowd in the evening sun. But she’s not carrying her band: guitarist Dec Martens has gone full-on guitar hero, shredding his solos with the nonchalance of a pro stadium player; bassist Gus Romer – a man who at distance looks like he’s wearing a white t-shirt when he’s in fact playing topless (I can relate) plays with similar ease while shouting “Oi!” at his favourite parts; drummer Bryce Wilson smashes away to make it all possible.

For such a lean band they make a decent racket, and high points ‘Maggot’ and ‘Hertz’ are proof that their recent work is their best, and, in actual fact, perfectly accessible for the early Dua Lipa fans who now suspect that maybe she too might run along the bit of the stage that sticks out into the crowd.

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