Melbourne five-piece Northeast Party House was born out of a need to capture those irreplaceable vibes of adolescent debauchery and the pure freedom that comes when age is just a number. Rocking up at your mates place without warning, listening to some favourite tunes and even jamming a little when the moment calls for it. This was the arrangement over one HSC exam period, where Sean Kenihan says his band started to form.
“Our friend Sam Northeast had a party, and it went for like two weeks while his mum was overseas,” Kenihan remembers. “We were calling the place Northeast Party House, as people were going there after school and after exams. It probably disrupted a lot of people.
“I knew from the start that we wanted to have that same kind of community feeling that Sam had over those two weeks.”
With a line-up completed by Zach Hamilton-Reeves, Jack Shoe, Mitch Ansell and Malcolm Besley, the early shows following this hallowed fortnight sound like a sight to behold.
“The first gig we ever headlined was at a venue on Smith Street. But it wasn’t even a venue; it was a tiny bar that could fit about 50 people,” Kenihan laughs. “The stage at the front you could imagine seeing an acoustic older guy in his fifties playing Bryan Ferry or something. Somehow we fit onto it, and crammed 150 of our friends in there. There is a video of it on YouTube. It was mental. It just had an atmosphere of chaos.”
Kenihan admits that the Melbourne crowds have afforded them a “cult following” with much crowd surfing and objects flying through the air at their gigs. But with their album, Any Given Weekend, still fresh and leading single, The Haunted, rolling on the airwaves, their goals to make a similar impression nationwide are clearly within reach.
“[With The Haunted] that was the first time where we had stopped jamming, with big smiles on our faces, like ‘yeah that’s the sound that we’re going for, that’s what we want to play at our live shows. People are going to go nuts’,” Kenihan says with a smile. “The album was pretty much trying to capture that energy from our live shows and putting it onto a record. We want people to know exactly what to expect.” (CD)
Jun 28, Newtown Social Club, 387 King St, $15+bf, newtownsocialclub.com