by Susie Long, Music Subeditor
For those that may not be familiar with Teenage Dads and their music - the four-piece band from Melbourne - comprised of Jordan Finlay, Vincent Kanna, Connor McLaughlin and Angus Christie - create charismatic, vibrant tracks that are instant feel-good hits, using punchy basslines, powerful drums, synths and countless more skills (even going so far as to use a mic-ed up retro telephone) to make music that just works. All of the tracks from their new EP Midnight Driving, along with new-release single ‘Speedracer’, are in my summer rotation for sure - I could not recommend this band enough.
And this band isn't just impressive in the studio. Just after the release of Midnight Driving, I managed to see the band performing as the support act for Lime Cordiale at Cardiff’s The Globe. Now admittedly, I’ve attended my fair share of indie rock gigs, but I can safely say this was the best I’ve ever been to. Both Teenage Dads and Lime Cordiale had the most incredible stage presences, paired with an intimate venue that created such a unique atmosphere and vibe with the crowd.
Whatever magic Teenage Dads managed to create in the recording studio, it felt like it appeared tenfold on stage - it wasn’t even obvious that they weren’t the night’s main event. Energetic, hilarious and, of course, insanely talented, the group got the crowd moving in seconds, and singing along not long after. And alongside the amazing music, it was wonderful to see how much it looked like they were having fun playing for us - it made it all the more fun to watch. Whether they were laughing with the crowd or whipping out the dance moves for people’s videos (including my own thanks to bassist Angus), Teenage Dads clearly knew how to work a room.
Lime Cordiale, of course, were no different. With the crowd high off of Teenage Dads' amazing opening set, brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach hosted the most incredible night of live music. From the most impressive kazoo solo that I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing, to climbing onto speakers so high they touch the ceiling, this band was an absolute joy to watch. Not only are they entertaining, but it is hard to ignore just how talented the Lime Cordiale band members are. The stream of instruments on and off stage seemed endless and each one played as flawlessly as the last - it was amazing to see every element of their recorded tracks present on stage too. Playing hits like ‘Robbery’, ‘Can I Be Your Lover’, and their famous rendition of “I Touch Myself” by Divinyls, Lime Cordiale produced a set of back-to-back bangers - I didn’t really want it to end.
Whilst I was at The Globe, I also had the chance to have a chat with Teenage Dads backstage about music, life on the road, and many many entertaining detours along the way (who knew Australians invented so many things?!). On their first touring visit to the UK, the guys talked about the amazing reception they’ve had, explaining that “anyone singing back our songs this far away from home is pretty crazy. However, I was also informed that the true highlights were the Sri Lankan restaurants in Bournemouth, as well as accessibility to showers compared to camping roadside on desolate Australian highways! “You guys don’t make us do shoeys either”, drummer Vinnie laughed, “we really don’t miss those”. Getting to know this band, it’s no wonder that these lads have such a great presence on stage - our interview was more like a comedy set. Describing themselves in four words, the official consensus was that Teenage Dads could be summarised by “stinky, singing, lightning and freak” (although personally, I’m not sure this fully does them justice).
I’m not surprised at all that Teenage Dads are being received well in the UK, if anything I’m amazed that they’re not more well-known. Whilst their shows with the incredible Lime Cordiale were fantastic, I’m very excited to see what their headline tour has in store. If you can get to see them on their current tour, you really should; it’s a guaranteed good (and hopefully shoey-filled) time. Plus, their merch is a t-shirt with “DILF” emblazoned on the front - who wouldn’t want that?!
Listen to Teenage Dads and Lime Cordiale here:
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