Sticky Fingers (no, not The Rolling Stones album). Sticky Fingers the small Australian band. Sticky Fingers the dynamite group that needs to be in everyone’s life.
Sophomore year was one of the best years of my life: I met three of my best friends, saw Pearl Jam in concert for the first time, and discovered the beautifully crazy and unique band called Sticky Fingers. It all began with my yearbook class where each day my friend Monica and I would watch the music video for Sticky Finger’s “Australia Street.” The song perfectly encompasses the band’s sound and energy, and the video completely matches their personalities. Monica and I would daydream about seeing them live in concert as we jammed along to the incredible ride that defines any Sticky Fingers song.
A year later that daydream later transformed into our reality. In 2015, Sticky Fingers announced its first ever North American tour in the summer, and my two friends and I purchased tickets as soon as they were on sale. I lost it. My excitement and happiness carried me through to the end of the school year with explosive intensity. Everyday was viewed as one day closer to Sticky Fingers. Before I knew it, the day had arrived, and I was about to see one of my favorite bands live — or so I thought.
It turned out that the show had been postponed to a few weeks later because the lead singer got into some “trouble” and was unable to come to America right away. To our dismay and frustration, we had to wait for our dream to come true. Time passed achingly slow, but eventually the day arrived. On August 9th, my friends and I experienced one of the best nights of our lives. Before I go into that amazing night, it is only fitting that I describe and explain Sticky Fingers awesome music and sound.
With three studio albums under their colorfully embellished belt, Sticky Fingers has mastered the art of never disappointing. This essential band consists of Dylan Frost as lead vocals, Paddy Cornwall as bass and backup vocals, Seamus Coyle as lead guitar, Beaker Best as drums and Freddy Crabs as keyboards and synthesizers. Their sound is such a wild mix of so many genres like reggae, psychedelic pop and alternative rock. It is difficult to confine Sticky Fingers in a typical genre label, and doing so would be a disservice to their talent. They are who they are, and once you know them well enough, their sound will make complete sense.
Sticky Fingers’s first album titled Caress Your Soul was released in 2013 with highlights such as “Australia Street,” “These Girls,” “Bootleg Rascal,” “How to Fly” and “Freddy Crabs.” It succeeded in crafting a debut album with the power and creativity that many bands can only hope to achieve in their second, third and fourth albums. Next, in 2014, Sticky Fingers released my personal favorite Land of Pleasure with dynamites like, “Just For You,” “Rum Rage,” “Gold Snafu,” “If You Go,” “Velvet Skies,” “Liquorlip Loaded Gun” and “Lazerhead.” I easily could have listed the entire album because it is flawless – I love every single song off Land of Pleasure. The day this album came out, Monica and I immediately listened to it the whole way through and fell in love. That summer was the summer of Land of Pleasure, which was a perfect way to spend summer days and nights.
Two glorious weeks ago, Sticky Fingers released its third and latest album titled Westway (The Glitter & The Slums), and I could not be happier about this joyous news. In anticipation, I had been waiting for Sticky Fingers to finish its new album for quite some time, and when the day finally arrived I jammed out to the new material right away. Each successive album diverts from the previous one while simultaneously taking with it some of the old. The end product is always a new sound that still manages to beautifully echo all that Sticky Fingers is about. Westway accomplishes just this, incorporating more sound effects and keyboard from the iconic keyboardist Freddy Crabs. Ever since its release I have been listening nonstop, and can confidently declare that this album is amazing. I have yet to grow tired of the same 11 songs, which speaks volumes of Sticky Fingers’ insurmountable talent.
At first listen, Westway is a mystery. You do not know immediately whether it is the greatest thing you have ever listened to or not. However, once you continue listening, you realize how absolutely incredible the album is. With continuous run-throughs, I discovered new aspects in each song that I love, and even as I am writing this piece, I am listening to this album and my intense support and love for this work of art is increasing. My favorites off Westway include “Sad Songs,” “One by One,” “Outcast at Last,” “Our Town,” “Tongue & Cheek,” “Angel,” “Amillionite” and “Something Strange (feat. REMI).” Still, this list is very flexible, for every song deserves to be recognized and appreciated.
To highlight a few songs, “Sad Songs” has one of the catchiest choruses I’ve ever heard, and I cannot help but dance and bob along to the infectious beat it radiates. “Outcast at Last” was the album’s first single and it evokes the most energy in the least amount of time (the song is the album’s shortest) and has a music video with the typical Sticky Fingers humorous trademark. “Our Town” contains one of my favorite parts from the album with the genius lines “ratta tat tat like that in the middle of the night” and “ratta tat tat like that in the early morning light.” These lines run so smooth in the song that it completely boggles my mind. I advise you all to take the time to listen to each song individually and learn the album inside and out because you will regret not doing so. Westway is another gift from the Heavens delivered to us by the divine messengers Sticky Fingers.
Back to my first time seeing Sticky Fingers live. August 9th is a date permanently etched in my brain and rightfully so. Our show was at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, which is not far from my house, but city traffic is a nightmare so Monica, my other friend Wendy, my father, and I left very early to ensure that we did not miss anything. Because we were not 18 yet, the venue required that we bring a chaperone and my wonderful father graciously filled that role for us. The temperature was just right — not too hot but warm enough that the absence of the sun did not merit light coats or shivers.
Baby’s All Right is a small venue with a restaurant/bar area in the front portion of the building and a stage in a tiny separate room in the back. The doors to the concert area were not open so we decided to sit and eat appetizers. We ordered sweet potato fries and anxiously waited for the doors to open to our destiny. By some cosmic miracle, our table was in the back of the restaurant where the entrance to the band’s backstage preparation was. After a quick peek through the doorway, we saw Paddy the bassist and freaked out. Minutes later, I noticed two people heading towards the entrance: Dylan the singer and Seamus the guitarist. I was so starstruck. Slowly, I rose from my seat and politely asked them if we could take a picture with them. In their fantastic Australian accents, they replied, “Sure!” My dad was left to the important task of taking the picture, and by the grace of God he snapped the perfect photo on the first try. We introduced ourselves and said thank you, and they continued into the backstage area.
The story does not end there. About fifteen minutes later, when Dylan and Seamus left the room again, I mustered up the courage and asked Dylan to play two songs: “Eddy’s Song” which is off their Happy Endings – EP and “Lazerhead” off of Land of Pleasure. Dylan explained that the setlist was already made, so they wouldn’t be able to play those songs. I thanked him anyway and melted as he amiably smiled at me and returned backstage. Excited by this interaction with Sticky Fingers, my friends and I were ready for their show to start.
Sticky Fingers killed its set. It was one of the best live performances I have ever seen, and we were one row from the stage, so we had an unobstructed view of the band. Their energy and sheer talent is difficult to describe in words, for it is all about a feeling. This feeling is just something in the pit of your stomach that tells you that you are witnessing something extraordinary and are apart of a moment in time that is bigger than you could possibly imagine. During the song “Just For You,” Dylan unexpectedly crowd surfed and my friends and I were able to help him back on stage, which was so cool. Having the time of my life, I thought that the night could not get any better. I was wrong.
The final song of the encore set was about to begin. I was eager to hear what they would finish off with, and was blown away when I heard the opening chords of “Lazerhead,” the song I requested but was told would not be played. As you can envision, I again lost my mind. I cried tears of happiness and explosive excitement as the song progressed, singing every word and soaking in this incredibly special moment in my life. It still means so much to me that Sticky Fingers did this. That song concluded an overall perfect night of music, friends, and good times. I remember that as the band members left the stage, Freddy Crabs held his hand out to the crowd, and I grabbed his thumb because that was all I could reach with my short arms. My dad even enjoyed the set, which was a bonus.
Monica and I thought our luck had reached its limit with that night, but this past year we discovered that Sticky Fingers was coming back to America for another North American tour. This time, we bought tickets to see them at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on May 4th. My friend Lexi joined Monica, Wendy, and me as we ventured into Brooklyn by ourselves, for we were all eighteen at the time. This time, we saw Freddy Crabs, the keyboardist, outside and enthusiastically said hi to him. That show was so much fun and continued to validate our belief that Sticky Fingers is one of the best bands around. Bootleg Rascal, the opening act, kicked off the show perfectly with its great sound and vitality. The lead singer of Bootleg Rascal even drank from my water bottle because we were right against the stage; unfortunately, my mother unknowingly recycled that sacred water bottle weeks after the show. Dylan wore overalls for the performance. Only overalls — I think enough is said there. These guys just know how to have fun, while doing what they love.
Sticky Fingers is simply just a band that everyone should listen to. They have the intense talent, energy and personality that define a topnotch band. Although they are popular in Australia, widespread popularity has not flourished in America, though I have witness considerable improvement. The venue of the second concert I attended was bigger than the venue of the first one. Still, this band deserves recognition and love more than any other band I know. Sticky Fingers permanently resides in my heart, for I have been with this band from the beginning and will be there until the end. Not only does this band produce insane music, they also are just great, cool guys that prove that the music industry is not void of genuine people.
From the bottom of my heart, I ask you all to give Sticky Fingers a chance and check them out to see the glory that is their music firsthand. Listen to all their live versions and acoustic sessions too because you will not be disappointed. If able to see them live, jump at that opportunity and go to their show. Give their new album Westway a listen. Oh, and buy the album – these guys deserve your money.
Sticky Fingers forever!