I was 15 the first time I laid my ears on them. I was alone in my room at my host family’s house in Germany. My host brothers were busy studying and playing Warcraft III, so I was lonely, just clicking around on MySpace. Dappled Cities Fly, this alternative rock band from Sydney who I learned about from the Homebake mix CD I got from the Sydney Morning Herald, were friends with this band from the Blue Mountains called Belles Will Ring. From that first jangle of psychedelic guitar in Park Benches, I was hooked! *Friend request sent*
Some five months later, Belles dropped Mood Patterns and I could finally listen to them on my trusty 32GB iPod Video. Then in June, they played an all-ages gig with Dappled Cities Fly at the Metro, and then they played at Marrickville Festival 2007. Talk about o-m-g! (I totally didn’t talk like that when I was a teenager…).
Fast forward to 17 March 2017 and I’m standing near the front of the stage at the Factory Floor waiting for Belles Will Ring to take the stage. My mate Rory (who was there at Mville Festival that day) is on my left and my girlfriend (a much more recent BWR devotee) is to my right. Rory and I haven’t seen them in probably five years (they went on hiatus for a while) but we’re excitedly guessing what song they’ll start their set with, discussing what oldies we hope they’ll play, speculating whether Liam will be wearing sunnies. We talk about them as if they were old friends, and each buy a T-shirt, a new EP and a tote bag. Omg, Lauren is so friendly, yeah they’re such nice people! (Yeah, I totally don’t talk like that now, either…).
When they finally take to the stage, it all comes flooding back. Every knee-drop is on point and in sync, every guitar line is shredded out with passion and panache, everyone is smiling inside and out. They smash their set as if it were their first… Or their last.
What’s more special than seeing a band killing it live for the first time? Well, as I’m finding out now in my mid-twenties, seeing them do it for the eighth time… 10 years later.
Thanks for reading. For more Nostalgia Dorks – thoughts on our changing relationship to music – click through here.