It had been a while since I had given myself over to a band of COG’s level of hammer blow sensory overload and the reality is that there are very few words to describe the power, connection and raw grunt that they brought to the Northern on Friday night.
Opening the night for them was a fledgling 4 piece out of Sydney (formed in 2017), REDHOOK that started out with a bang and whipped the crowd up into a frenzy, setting the scene that the night was going to be good! Lead singer Emmy Mack was masterfully passionate throughout their set, flailing red dyed hair being thrown around whilst growling into the mic and bouncing around like a hot potato. She had complete control of the stage and took the 4 piece to the edge with a great set with little to no rest between songs. Added to that, I spied her manning the booth and selling the bands merchandise straight after they finished so apparently she is not afraid of the work! The scene was set…
Cog walked onto the stage and knew they were there to work, they manned their instruments and began with ‘Anarchy Ok’ (from the bands seminal 2005 release ‘The New Normal’) driving up the crowds anticipation of what was to come. As soon as Flynn started hurling his vocals into the ether, the crowd was kicked into a frenzy and locked themselves in for the duration. Fists were flying into the air in salute, summoning that COG had arrived and was not going to let anyone off easy.
Next, they bounced into the upbeat new comer ‘Drawn Together’ (released in February this year), heralding people to come together and stand up for what you believe in, the crowd it seemed heard the message and started moving as one! Flynn’s voice was more melodic (if that’s at all possible!?) throughout and was matched with Luke and Lucius keeping the pressure moving forward.
The tempo was temporarily slowed down for a little while with the start of ‘What If’ and the crowd responded in kind by throwing the vocals right back at the band in a furious singalong, the crowd was theirs. Flynn was in his own world, sighting his chords and blazing into the mic with a steady growl accompanied by a melodic balance he is so well known for. By the time ‘Say your Last Goodbye’ was starting, Luke had cast his shirt away and was looking at Flynn with a possession only a brother can know, Lucius was eyeing both of them and holding it all together.
They crushed ‘Swamp’ after a quick chat to the crowd about the government, the crowd responded with a solid anthem being thrown around the room like a power rally, the room seemed to ignite with this. Flynn’s vocals having just that bit more angst and passion for the message the band was trying to convey, it was a moment that brought goosebumps.
The crowd was gifted with an incredible performance of ‘Moo’ which they hadn’t played in almost 10 years (Flynn’s own words), this song in itself was for me the pinnacle of the night. Everyone in the place was moving like they were possessed, the drive of this song was their fuel, so powerful and unrelenting. At one stage Flynn left the mic and went to his brother who saw him coming, they met in the middle and went for it, it was amazing to watch.
The night was a success for everyone who went through the doors and testament to this is a serious lack of phones and people recording or taking photos… everyone was there for the music and not Instagram fame or likes, it’s old school and way more cerebral!
If you get a chance to see COG, do your ears and senses a favour, keep your phone tucked away and immerse yourself into an experience that you won’t soon forget!
Images (C) Lamp Photography