My Own Pet Radio at Newtown Social Club

Kate Young
30th Nov 2015

Going into My Own Pet Radio's performance at Newtown Social Club, I was a little apprehensive about just how much of Goodlum’s sound would be compromised. An album that was so highly concentrated on experimentation in sounds and recording techniques, just how would My Own Pet Radios front man Sam Cromack bring it to life onstage?

In contrast to opening act Caitlyn Park, whose lyrical lullabies had everyone at her feet engrossed in her tales of love both lost and found, My Own Pet Radio had everyone up and dancing which was enforced by Cromack himself: “This is not a Christian camp, everyone up on their feet."

When it came to choosing his band mates, Cromack clearly put together his dream team. Goodlum is such an intimate album and finding the right people to handover your heart and soul to takes a lot of trust that they will take it up as if it were their own. Best mate Ben Fahey took charge of guitar and keys, while good friend Alex L’Estrange (who actually played on and helped mix the album) played bass. Rounding out the quartet on drums was Holy Holy’s drummer Ryan Strathie.

The night kicked off with "Tangible Heart," a sweet acoustic serenade that pulled everyone in, only this was just warming everyone up. For the next hour we were treated to songs both old and new - tracks like "Altamont Speedway: from their first album Unidentified Flying Collection of Songs, which is a great little synth driven song or Fight Club inspired track “All Colours” (and such a standout track if you can get your ears on a copy), a track that incorporates both his use of hard hitting lyrics and raw vocals, that are both melancholy and triumphant at the same time.

It is my favourite songs from the album Goodlum that I came to hear. "Don't Press Send, Companion" which is a more instrumental heavy track, was like being hit with a wall of sound when played live. Title track "Goodlum" had everyone’s hip swaying to the Strathie’s drumbeat, while the lyrical wizard Cromack seductively danced around in the swaying heads of fans who knew each and every word. “Enemy/Memory” was a great display of just how tight this unit has become - each musician stands out on his own and yet they complement each other. It seemed natural all of them up on stage, with the backing boys singing off mic along to the song and Fahey excitedly jumped on the side of the stage like every song was his favourite.

For an album that was truly written inside the artist’s head it was nice to be part of it, never once did it feel like just a performance. It was a journey that we all get to embark on and My Own Pet Radio was at the helm.