NATALIE Foster has progressed a long way from her schoolyard days when her singing earned the ridicule of fellow students.
"I remember coming out of singing lessons and it turns out the year 12 people had been having their really important exams [next door] and I kept overhearing people go, 'Who the f--k was that singing mid-way through the exam'," Foster said.
Next week Foster's Melbourne punk band Press Club perform with Foo Fighters, Post Malone and Billie Eilish at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, which attract crowds of 90,000.
Europe has become a focus for the four-piece since their 2018 debut album Late Teens was re-released in the UK in January. The album subsequently received a four-star review from influential music magazine NME.
Press Club will return to the UK armed with a greater arsenal. On Friday they release their follow-up Wasted Energy, which amps up the emo velocity of Late Teens.
Chosen Ones features Foster's most emotional vocal as she channels Chrissy Amphlett, while Greg Rietwyk (guitar), Iain MacRae (bass) and Frank Lees (drums) display their versatility in the dynamic Separate Houses and Get Better.
"Recording wise I think we've stepped it up a bit," Foster said. "We know ourselves a lot more in terms of the band we are and how we play. Not that the first album didn't feel comfortable, but we recorded that album before we played a live show.
"There's a lot of changes that happen when you get onto a stage and you can feel the songs out with a crowd or people."
Wasted Energy essentially captures the sound of Press Club live. What it can't do, is illustrate the band's visual power. MacRae last year described Foster's chaotic performance style as "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 was an apt assessment. Foster said her stage performance has developed over time naturally.
"Occasionally I'm mindful of it when I'm a little bit more anxious than usual," she said. "In a show my whole goal is to forget about everything else and just go through an hour without thinking of anything else."
Press Club bring their Wasted Energy tour to the Cambridge Hotel on November 2 with support from Johnny Hunter and Milky Thred.