$20.18

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Northcote Social Club

301 High Street

Northcote, VIC 3070

Australia

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Guests: TBA

THIS SHOW IS STRICTLY 18+


Ups and Downs were manna to a moribund Sydney music scene still mired in a mindless homage to Detroit rock that had ruled for a decade or more. Sydney bands of the era sang in Iggy Pop accents, played like the Stooges crossed with the MC5, and looked like clones of those psychedelic garage-rock outfits from the Nuggets compilations: all pudding-basin haircuts, tight black Levi’s and loud shirts.

Ironically, Ups and Downs copped early flak for their own longish hair and paisley shirts, as had The Church before them. Notwithstanding a reverently reworked cover of Neil Diamond’s Solitary Man that bore all the band’s early hallmarks: thoughtfully orchestrated guitars, a deft arrangement, and those soaring sibling harmonies - what the pundits were quickly starting to notice, however, was the quality of Ups and Downs’ original material. These songs were so good, they invited reference points like REM, most often, or The Cure, early U2, the Woodentops, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Smiths. Notice they weren’t comparing Ups and Downs to anyone crap, which said plenty.

Almost 30 years later, Ups and Downs are back with their first album of new material since 1988’s Underneath The Watchful Eye. The independently released The Sky’s In Love With You finally delivers on the potential thwarted by the music industry of their Sydney days.

Some things remain the same – the soaring two-part sibling harmonies, the orchestrated twin lead guitars, cascading rhythms and Cure-like bass lines. And there’s something else – three decades of wisdom and the wit of ages. Their power-pop smarts still rule.

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Northcote Social Club

301 High Street

Northcote, VIC 3070

Australia

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