Eat the Damn Orange ‘Taking the Pith’ album launch with special guests Karly Jewell, Shotgun Mistress and Sun Traitors at The Workers Club Fitzroy 22/05/2021.

I needed a live music fix, (and a few doses of vitamin C), to try and get my mojo back, so I decided to attend this gig at last minute. My first gig in 14 months since the Covid lockdown, and it was full of juicy rock ‘n’ roll goodness. 

Whilst being familiar with ETDO, the other 3 acts I only came across recently. I had not heard much about them or from them before this gig, so I was looking forward to what these supports would bring on the stage.

Opening the evening was Sun Traitors.

This hard rock power trio packed a punch for a 3 piece. They cruised through their set delivering uptempo, guitar and drum driven tracks, mashing elements of grunge, punk, psych with a modern sound, and sung with a raspy, at times partially spoken vocal.
They had the early punters nodding their heads with their catchy hooks and riffs, warming them up for what was to come. A great opening to the evening.

2nd up Shotgun Mistress

Wow! I don’t know what these guys were on, but just watching their full on high-octane show made me feel exhausted….or maybe I’m just getting too old, whichever it didn’t matter, theyrocked my socks off regardless! 

Like a shotgun that had gone off, they just exploded out of the blue, making full use of the stage and the floor with their antics. The singer played a game of now you see me now you don’t, bouncing around the stage, climbing on whatever he could grab onto, vanishing in clouds of smoke, running around on the floor disappearing between the crowd and back stage and finally appearing back at the front like a super charged duracell bunny, all whilst flaunting his dynamic vocal range. Super impressive!For some reason Axl Rose, Vince Neil and Sebastian Bach all crossed my mind!

Even the guitarist made use of the floor showing off his great guitar riffs in front of excited punters. 
They powered through a blistering set of American vibed hard rock tunes. I believe this band is only about 3 years young, however they commanded the stage, (and the floor) like seasoned performers. 
Before you knew it, their wacky but entertaining show was over, leaving the punters including myself pumped up for more. 

Up next Karly Jewell.

As I was wandering how the next act was going to top the juggernaut I just witnessed, this pint sized rocker takes the stage with her band of impressive musicians. 
Together they played a solid set of riff driven, high energy tunes with influences of old school rock through to the ‘90s, delivered with Karly’s strong vocals, heartfelt story telling and a dash of kick-ass attitude had me place her along side of singers like Suze DeMarchi, although she did hold her own.
Great stage presence and an amazing performance by this little gem. 

By now the crowd had grown to full capacity, (well…to the limit allowed), and was stirring as they moved closer to the stage.

The band of the moment, everyone’s favourite citrusy outfit, Eat the Damn Orange appeared and was ready to play … then we noticed one member was missing! Their singer Tash was nowhere to be found! After a few moments she entered the band room and made her way to the stage cheered on by the punters. 

After a short instrumental intro, they dived into the opening track from their ‘Taking the Pith’ full length debut album, the groovy ‘Queen of Jack’. The energy coming from the stage to the crowd was immediately clear that we were in for a good fun time. 
As the album title suggests, ETDO do not take themselves too seriously and like to have a party on stage. A couple more rocking, funny numbers followed, ‘Gluten Free Children’ about food intolerances and the sadistic, ‘Gloryhole Nightmare’ before toning the mood down with the slow and sultry ‘Hook’, a personal song written by Tash, showing the band can have a serious side. 

The atmosphere quickly ramped up again with the fast and furious, ‘Part of the Problem’ tackling today’s society, followed by ‘Moment in the Sun’ and the hilarious ‘Munt Bolt’ about vomiting! As with most ETDO tracks there’s a story behind the inspiration for the songs and this one is no different! 

Next we had Tash asking, did you think you could ‘Keep up with Me’, being the sweet, pocket-rocket firecracker woman that she is, it seemed the crowd was keeping up, at least with the energy as the toe-tapping, ‘60s swing styled ‘Screaming into the Void’, a piss-take on social media, was belted out with Tash screaming, “…and there’s another picture of your fuckin’ cat” had me laughing out loud literally! 
The cabaret styled, ‘Don’t Wanna Touch Your Microphone’, (I’ll leave it to one’s imagination as to what this could refer to), and the thumping, ‘Blue Balls’ closed off an amusing and highly entertaining set jam-packed with witty, Latino, blues infused hard rock tunes, rippin’ guitar riffs and solos from both Brendan and Ric, and groovy bass lines and drums by the rhythm section, Jaime and Tim. Oh and not forgetting the powerhouse, colourful front woman that is Tash with her sassy, playful and “cheeky” performance and those astounding, high soaring powerful pipes that at times can easily crack concrete! 

The night wasn’t quite finished yet. With the crowd chanting, “one more song, one more song, one more song ….” the band obliged with a Latino/Spanish/South American type ditty called “Punto” or something along those lines, I didn’t quite catch what it was all about, but Ric the guitarist took charge on this one and it was a helluva lot of fun, the crowd at the front really getting into it, chanting and dancing. It reminded me of a modern day Macarena!

It wasn’t till I got home and looked at the set list Ric kindly gave me that I realised the tracks were played in the same order as they are on the album! They flowed seamlessly on stage as it does on the album. I couldn’t have envisaged a better album launch for these tangy, freshly squeezed rockers. Fantastic show, the best I’ve seen them to date. Have they reached their peak? That remains to be seen. I look forward to what these oranges do next.

Ifyou like comedy with a twisted sense of humour and you like catchy rock music, why not have both with Eat the Damn Orange!

In closing, Melbourne keeps on delivering the goods with awesome, diverse and great quality rock bands and tonight’s menu was just a tiny sample of what’s on offer in this city right now. Brilliant night. Even though things are different now with all these rules and regulations, the music is better than ever. It felt so great to be back at a gig, kind of surreal. I’m glad I pushed myself to go because as I write this we have just entered our 4th lockdown and who knows when my next gig fix will be. 

Highly recommend you check out all the acts. You can find them on all the usual social and music platforms, and a reminder if you like an act, it’s more important than ever to support them however you can. Share! Share! Share!

-Sonia Donnabella with photos from Dave Metalife

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