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Words by Tye Blinkhorn

Photography by Carlie Tanithskye | @carlietanithskyephotography


Sunk Loto, with a long-awaited 15 years to return to touring, have achieved something that no one else thought would ever happen, and what the band themselves thought was not possible. If it was not for the hardcore fans raging to those heavy metal gates, punters may not be able to witness them now. After their first round of touring almost exactly a year ago in 2022, Sunk Loto brings their 20th anniversary of ‘Between Birth and Death’ to life again. Joining them on this history-making journey are the likes of Red Bee from the Blue Mountains and Ocean Sleeper hailing from Gippsland, Victoria. What a lineup! Thank God for Australian music!

Kicking off tonight’s proceedings is Red Bee. This three-piece band comprises of brothers Daniel Silk (vocals, guitar) and Jim Silk (bass), and Ian Dunn (drums). These guys formed back in 2008 and have been touring on and off ever since. Their Facebook page states: “Tivoli, we like it heavy” and boy did they not lie about that. They came out with incredible energy and took control in the first few moments ready to put on the best show of their lives. The crowd built slowly, but with the squealing of Daniels’ guitar and the sound of the crushing drums, the show lifted off with a bang. 

They opened with Gutter Christ which is their latest single, released this year. It takes you to a different space, it’s like you are hearing 4 songs in one. Dead Inside is up next, full of heavy low tuning, guitar riffs and hard-hitting drums, and Jim contorts his face and body like he’s not of this world. With much encouragement from Daniel, more punters join the floor by the end of the first song, and before you know it, we have a full-on rock show on our hands! At the end of the second song, he asks the crowd whilst tuning his guitar “How the fuck are ya?” and continues with “I’m cramping baby, I’m cramping, fucking god help me, is there a masseuse in the house?”

They finish their set with Chasing Shadows, Silent Enemy, Killing Time and new song, Assassin. This song was announced with the news of Red Bee writing a new album which is set to be released sometime next year. These guys delivered their heaviness upon The Tivoli as promised, and no sooner had they jumped off the stage; they’d headed to the merch stand to hang with the punters. 

Ocean Sleeper was up next, hailing from Victoria. Forming in 2016, this four-piece have been ascending up the ranks of heavy metal ever since. Jumpsuit-wearing Karl Spiessl (vocals) asks the crowd to  “bring this shit forward and have the best time of our fucking life alright?” with Jared Robson (drums) and Lonei Heckensberg (guitar/vocals) kicking off with Forever Sinking. Karl‘s voice joins the party with his brutal growling and high energy, utilising every inch of the stage, moving everywhere. From the melodic vocals of Lonei and the extreme growling of Karls, this band gets the heat in the room sparking, hoping we did not need an extinguisher.

With the crowd getting wild and the low and heavy guitar riffs continuing, more amazing songs keep coming such as Worthless No Purpose, Your Love I’ll Never Need Sleep Life Away, and King of Nothing where Stan Liagourdis brings out some incredibly heavy hitting riffs while Heckensberg echoes the energy of the crowd with some guitar neck-swinging.

During the set Karl thanks the audience, saying that he is very grateful that people came out early. You Kill The Good In Me, and Never The One lead us to an obvious crowd favourite Light In My Dark. The crowd is heaving and Karl stands on the barricades delivering a sermon to the believers! These guys will be at the upcoming 2024 edition of  Good Things Festival which they are clearly very excited about, so go check them out if you can! 

As the stage starts getting prepared for the main act and the crowd is mingling amongst themselves, the curtains come down keeping the mystery alive. As it gets closer to show time, a projector lights up the red curtains with the words Sunk Loto, building even more anticipation in the punters. Snippets of the first guitar riff of 5 Years of Silence fading in and out, getting louder each time.

Man, does the mood change when those curtains raise and we see all the band members on stage. The explosive drum hits start rolling, Jason Brown runs out on stage screaming “YOU DESTROYED ME” and the crowd REALLY goes wild. They are reborn into wild animals with Jason as their pack leader. Dane Brown smashes those drums so hard and I’m surprised he didn’t break his drumsticks!

With the second song Fall Apart, the crowd explosively and loyally screams the lyrics in unison with Jason. Watching him take everyone on a rollercoaster ride, pushing and pulling, is epic and amazing to witness. Three songs in and the crowd surfing begins with Empty and Alone. Jason take a moment and greets the crowd, “Holy shit, Brissy, it’s fucking good to be here.” He says he is going to take us on a journey with the ‘Between and Birth’ album, celebrating it’s 20 year anniversary this year. He thanks the crowd for making this journey possible, as 2 years ago they didn’t think it would be possible.

The songs keep coming and the guitar riffs are powerful and fast with Help, Starved, and my personal all-time favourite Everything Everyway.  New guitarist, Rohan Stevenson does not disappoint – I didn’t know what to expect from him but man, was I happily surprised. He looked a bit nervous at the start, however it didn’t take long till he owned his position, and us, for that matter! Sean Van Gennip looks like he is having a great old time!

The set continues, Public Imagery, Soul Worn Thin followed by Gallows Wait, being their newest offering. This song is hard hitting and the guitar riffs are insane! You can see why Rohan was chosen as the guitarist to join the band.

After a short break, distorted jangles erupt, and the energy is palpable. Vinegar Stroke rings out into the ether and the crowd loses their collective minds. The song they wrote as teenagers, annihilating the crowd as adults. It’s beautiful to witness. Early songs Sunken Eyes and Lift round off the encore and our hearts are full! 

Sunk Loto are firmly sticking around and I for one am very much looking forward to the new music that they will be delivering to our eager ears. 

Thanks to Dallas Does PR

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