Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Punk Passion And Vitriol Comes To Airlie

Brisbane’s punk band of the moment is making its way down the Bruce Highway, flipping off North Queenslanders by the truckload in performances across the state for their newest album tour for ‘Real Rare Whale’.

Dune Rats arrive in Airlie Beach on December 30 for a Friday night, hearty-party festival at Magnums to keep the loud alive – which they’ve been accomplishing as part of an impressive upward trajectory.

Their new album already landed the No. One spot on the Australian ARIA position, has been nominated for Best Hard Rock/ Metal album, their shows are drawing in huge, sold-out crowds domestically, and they’re heading international soon enough.

Success to success has put the Brisbane trio on a one-way trip down from Cairns back to Brissie, and they’re certainly “Psyched to come back to North Queensland!”

“It’s been years but last time were some of the best shows we’ve played,” Dune Rats’ BC Michaels, the band’s backing vocalist and drummer, said.

The band’s front man couldn’t agree more: “North Queensland has always turned it on for us,” Danny Beus said.

“Last time the barriers were crowd surfed out of the venue so we can’t wait to see what’s in store the time around.”

That affinity for North Queensland might come from the working-class element – which punk has long-tapped into en mass – and it’s no wonder their Airlie Beach show is drawing a stir in the ticket department.

So, how best to describe Dune Rat’s music? Undoubtedly it owes a legacy to Nirvana, taking an absurdly Australian lilt at the American band’s alternative rock and infusing it with a healthy dose of the angrier punk-grime scene of the ‘70s – the Sex Pistols most enthusiastically.

But working-class Oi!-esque anger wasn’t the sole domain of Brits, and Americans didn’t have copyright on disaffected youth – Dune Rats reviles in the Brisbane punk scene, which has its own storied past and vibrant, acrimonious present – most notably in The Saints.

As well, Dune Rats sautés in the milieu of its contemporaries: They are indebted to the indie-trance music mesh of New South Wales bands like Skegss and Hockey Dad.

But, the Brisbane boys take it about three steps to the left – where Hockey Dad is either soft or garage rock, Dune Rats is impolite punk, no-holds-barred, like a harsher, throatier Join The Club. It’s a middle-finger-fusion where “good-natured bad behaviour” is reviled and proliferated to a new MTV Generation.

They’re big, bombastic, and they’re taking off, gathering steam like a punk locomotive – and they’re Australian to the core.

Crowds will head to Magnums Airlie Beach to catch Dune Rats on Friday, December 30.

Dune Rats are another of the big acts coming to Magnums Airlie Beach this year

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