PRESS Club bassist Iain MacRae likens his bandmate Natalie Foster to “a bouncy ball being shot out of a cannon in a prison cell where it’s got nowhere to go but keep bouncing off the four walls, ceiling and floor.”
It’s a spot-on description. Anyone who caught the Melbourne garage-punk band’s two Newcastle shows earlier this year supporting The Smith Street Band at the Bar On The Hill and Raave Tapes at the Cambridge Hotel couldn’t help but be captivated by Foster’s stage presence.
Foster might be small in stature with a wild mane of hair, but she owns a booming guttural voice, which perfectly resonates with the frenetic delivery of the buzz-saw guitars.
“It’s really part of her personality,” MacRae said. “It’s not a stage persona.
“She’s pretty bubbly and a live wire as a human being. Her dancing around on stage as a mad thing is just an extension of that.”
Press Club’s constant touring blitz and the success of singles Headwreck and Suburbia helped launch the band out of Brunswick onto the national stage in the past year.
Last month their performance of The Killers’ hit When You Were Young for triple j’s Like A Version further cemented their live reputation as explosive performers.
The reception to their debut album Late Teens, released in March, surpassed even Press Club’s own expectations.
“We didn’t know what to expect because we wrote it and recorded it before we started playing shows and then unleashed it on the world and didn’t know if it would get picked up at all,” MacRae said.
“What put it in perspective for me was on release day we’d already sold 88 pre-sales and I didn’t expect to sell 10 records in the first fortnight.”
The songs on Late Teens were written shortly after the band formed in mid-2016 and was recorded by guitarist Greg Rietwyk in early 2017, over a year before the album was released.
During their formative phase the four members bunkered down in MacRae’s mother’s house while she was away to write songs and rehearse five days a week.
About 40 songs were written, which MacRae said were eventually culled down to 15 that everyone was satisfied with.
It meant that when Press Club exploded onto the scene they already sounded like a fully-formed outfit, confident in their sound and direction.
“We thought if we could churn out a large volume of material at least some songs would be passable,” he said.
Press Club return to the Cambridge Hotel on November 24.