The D4 +
Sway +
The Substitutes
@ Spectrum, Sydney
January 25, 2005


By SIMON LI
PHOTO: Andy Tommo

Tonight saw another return to Sydney for New Zealanders The D4, who were matched with a pair of local Sydney acts, Sway and The Substitutes, both of whom seemed out of place on this bill.

What was also peculiar was the choice of venue for tonight's show; inner city Sydney's "Spectrum" venue, which seems like a Sydney equivalent of inner-city Melbourne venues The Cherry Bar, The Ding Dong Lounge and Pony, none of which ahave a capacity for the sort of crowd that was on hand tonight at Spectrum.

Unfortunately, I missed the bulk of The Substitutes set. What I did see of this band featuring leader of Sydney '90s indie crossover darlings Ratcat,Simon Day, and ex-bassist from all girl Sydney rock band Nitocris, Sara Anderson, impressed. The Substitutes delivered indie rock-pop, with a solid rhythm section. This and Simon Day's unique songwriting and lyrics set themselves apart from many like-minded bands.

Sway then followed and seem a peculiar part of the so-called 'rock revival' / 'nu-rock' scene.

They are a curious mix of the kind of 70s rock that was led by The Rolling Stones and The Faces (when led by Rod Stewart) and reawakened by the likes of The Black Crowes and Reef. They delivered a set of hard rock in their own way; but oy seemed directionless and derivative. Sway seem to be about drawing crowds of attractive young girls (hardly a bad thing for any young rock band), but also appear devoid of a shred of substance or originality.

The D4 were clearly primed to deliver some killer, hi-energy rock 'n' roll, and did just this.

When they opened with The Fun Things classic "Savage", you knew that this band has not lost the power or energy that have made live shows and their debut album "6Twenty" so highly praised and treasured, in a "nu-rock" scene featuring the likes of The Datsuns, The Hives, The White Stripes, The Strokes and Jet.

We were treated to early D4 classics like 'Rock 'n' Roll Motherfucker", "Get Loose", "Invader Ace" and several songs from the forthcoming "Out of My Head" LP. The title track, the current single "Sake Bomb" and several prove that it will have the goods.

They closed with a take on the Dead Boys "Sonic Reducer" and encored with "Mysterex" to shut down a killer show.

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