Date: Sunday 9th July 2017
Venue: BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB, LEEDS
Event: THE SMITH STREET BAND
Age Restriction: 14+ with Adult / 16+ without.
Originally conceived as the vehicle for Australian singer/songwriter Wil Wagner to perform under, the Smith Street Band — minus the “Wil Wagner &” — would eventually become its own entity after two years in existence. Formed in Melbourne in 2010 by Wagner, guitarist Lee Hartney, second guitarist Tom Lawson, bassist Jimi O’Loughlin, and drummer Chris Cowburn, the group’s first recorded material — the EP South East Facing Wall — appeared in 2011, followed soon after by their debut album, No One Gets Lost Anymore. Touring constantly in the Australian punk underground, the five-piece built a considerable reputation for their folk-infused punk sound. With the departure of O’Loughlin on bass, the group recruited Michael Fitzgerald for their sophomore release, 2012’s Sunshine & Technology, and at the end of that year, guitarist Tom Lawson also mutually parted ways with the group. Supporting the album on their national Young Drunks tour in 2013 with the Bennies and New York’s Bomb the Music Industry! in tow, the group played some of its biggest shows yet, including an eventful night in Byron Bay, which would inspire the band’s next EP, Don’t Fuck with Our Dreams.
An American tour with Frank Turner in mid-2013, a slot at the prestigious Fest Festival in Gainesville, Florida, and a European tour saw the band’s profile explode throughout 2013, and after returning to Australia, the group embarked on another national tour at the beginning of 2014, with Pennsylvania punk outfit the Menzingers. Retreating to the quiet of rural Victoria that July, the four-piece set about recording its third album, Throw Me in the River, with Bomb the Music Industry!’s Jeff Rosenstock in the producer’s chair. Released at the end of October 2014, the album debuted on the ARIA chart at number 18. The beginning of 2015 saw the band head out on a national tour in support of the album, as well as release the single Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face, inspired by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his government’s stance on asylum seekers. Another single, I Scare Myself Sometimes, which featured vocals from fellow Aussie Lucy Wilson, also appeared in August. The Smith Street Band continued their nonstop touring schedule in 2016 with dates in the U.S., Australia, and Europe before heading back into the studio, once again with Jeff Rosenstock, to record their fourth album. Preceded by the singles “Death to the Lads” and “Birthdays,” the resulting More Scared of You Than You Are of Me was released in April 2017.