The Aussie quartet brought their own brand of reggae-tinged indie to Paris in front of a watching Yannick Slade-Caffarel…
L’Alimentation Générale is a beer hall. It is one big room. Around the sides are wooden tables with benches on either side. From the entrance, the right side is home to a long bar with plenty or beers and even cider on tap. On the left there is a small stage and between the two it’s empty. There is room to move around. Arrive for happy hour before nine to get pissed as after it is fucking expensive. And that is really the only problem with this venue. Otherwise, entry is cheap, the sound is fine, and you can get up close and personal with the band.
In the case of Sticky Fingers, the up close and personal part was real easy. The boys were milling around the bar from before the support act had even begun. Beers in hand, they were happy to chat and take pics with any and all who approached. This band from Sydney, Australia is pretty amazing. They are five blokes, some of whom learnt to play their instruments just for the purpose of being in this band. They all worked at the same pub and it was either music or nothing. They also stuck to their guns. Sticky Fingers play and have always played a heavily reggae influenced brand of psychedelic indie rock. Although some more recent tunes are more radio friendly, the commitment to their genres remains clear. And somehow, beyond any semblance of rational explanation, they managed to carve their own spot within an Australian music scene dominated by Indie Pop and Aussie Hip Hop. This spot they now own, ready to take Aussie Dub Reggae to the world.
The support were called Mini Vague and they were really pretty good. They played a kind of post-punk surf rock. The mix worked. They sung in English in cute French accents that inexplicably were not annoying. Furthermore, they, as with every band that uses this instrument, proved once again that saxophone makes absolutely everything better. Sticky Fingers should get a saxophone. In fact, taking the saxophone into account, Mini Vague were bloody great. They managed to create a sound that was both familiar and novel. Well actually the saxophone was the only real novelty. But it was fucking excellent.
Sticky Fingers had to crowd their five members onto the little stage. They mirrored the room that had filled impressively. Sporting an impressive range of moustaches, none more so than that worn by Crabs on keys, the boys launched into a set of classics. They brought out “Clouds & Cream” and new single “Gold Snafu” early to get the crowd going. They kept heavily hydrated throughout, continuing to down beers at an impressive rate. Each song finished with a “merci” from lead singer Dylan and a “merci beaucoup” from bass player Paddy. They had definitely been practising. Luckily too as there are quite a few French dates on this tour.
This number could perhaps be explained by the enthusiasm that the mostly French crowd showed. They boogied, bopped, and even sang along at times. The climax came before the end with “Caress Your Soul”. This one the crowd sang in unison with some seriously passionate vocal displays from a couple of blokes in the centre of the crowd. The set continued and wrapped up with the beautifully nostalgic “Australia Street”. It was almost enough to make an Aussie homesick.
The crowd begged for an encore but Sticky Fingers were done. They stuck around in the bar and chatted once again to any and all. In their words, rather than explore the Parisian night, it was easier to just stay put and keep getting drunk where they were.
Read more from Yannick Slade-Caffarel here: parisgigreviews.com.