The Bennies - Wisdom Machine Tour: The Cambridge Hotel 7th April 2016 / by Newcastle Discovered

The Bennies - Wisdom Machine Tour: The Cambridge Hotel 7th April 2016

By Laura Kebby

It was one of those gigs where the guys in the band makes you want to pack up everything, cash in your savings pennies and go “anywhere you wanna go”. The Bennies really brought back that old school punk feel, not just in a musical sense, but with that real punk-rock attitude infused with this otherworldly, crazy psychedelic reggae. The guys really rocked up to party first and play second and it’s exactly what their unique organic is all about, and honestly… their fans cannot get enough.


With all the amazing things going on in Newcastle on Thursday night (and any given night of course) I just missed Newcastle’s own “The Cereal Picnic” warm up the crowd ready for another unapologetically offensive, punk fuelled Thursday night at the ‘Cambo'. They may be the self confessed, most “unattractive band to come out of Newcastle” but their tried and true take on the old school hardcore punk genre made them perfect candidates to get the fans sweaty, tune hungry,  riled up and running at each other. (Be sure to check them out on the 21st of April when they play at the Small Ballroom!)


Fellow supports, Adelaide’s ‘Hightime’ and USA’s ‘Off With Their Heads’ also brought the goods and really gave their die hard fans exactly what they were looking for. But it was The Bennies who really laid it out, brought the good vibes, and drew the crowd into their crazy Ska-reggae-punk-metal-partymachine-frenzy. Seeing The Bennies is never a passive gig experience, I’d go as far as to say that the whole gig-going philosophy is completely different with these guys. They don’t want to just play for you, they really want to party with you, and it seemed that nothing made them happier than seeing a sea of high fives and knowing that everyone in the crowd was having as much fun as they were. They did not stop smiling, not once, and getting the crowd to come together as a cohesive unit really did seem to be the ultimate goal of the gig. At one point frontman Anty Horgan lay it all out on the table, hitting home with the simple question of “are you feeling alive?”


Track wise, the recent Triple J hit “Party Machine” from The Bennies latest album “The Wisdom Machine”, was dropped quite early on in the set list, much to the delight of fans who quintessentially turned into one giant party machine. Horgan lay it all on the line in the front row whilst being held up by fans and was thrown an overwhelming crowd driven chorus of “one part party, one part machine” that built into a crowd surfing, back flipping sweaty punk pit in the absolute best way possible. Other standout tracks were the ever so nostalgic “Knights forever”, “Detroit Rock Ciggies” and my personal favourite “My bike”. Fans were stoic and relentless in demanding an encore with the all too familiar “one more song” chant and, in typical Bennies ‘party forever, normalcy never’ style, the guys dropped two more tracks including a standout favourite “hold on”.


The whole set was this flawless combination of skilful, dirty yet killer guitar, mind bending vocals and a string of nonchalantly clever lyrics which were only amplified by the entire bands clear love of performing live and the appreciation they have for their fans. Overall, another awesome show at the Cambridge Hotel from a great Aussie band.


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