Are Nick Nuisance & The Delinquents Sydney’s most energetic band?
Rekorderlig Sauna Sounds are all about embracing the unique, quirky and innovative – we’ve teamed up to present some of country’s most trailblazing up and comers, getting them sweaty and ready to show off what makes them so special.
If there’s one word to describe Sydney four-piece Nick Nuisance & The Delinquents, it’s “energetic”. Since coming together back in 2014, the band have played a frenzied brand of punk and garage rock that immediately calls to mind acts like The Gun Club and Iggy Pop. Led by the eponymous Nick Nuisance, they’re the kind of band that needs to be seen live to really capture what they’re all about.
No shock, then, that capturing that kind of live energy to tape is a driving motivation when recording. “We try and emulate what we sound like live on the recordings,” explains the band’s bassist Declan Press.
“I think our main goal has been for people to walk away from our show and listen to the EP and for them to think it doesn’t sound completely different, that it sounds similar to how we sounded live.” Drummer Catherine Conlan agrees – “We sound great live, and I want to sound like that on record.”
The band is currently gearing up to release their second EP, following last year’s Cheap Things – a debut that managed to pack a surprising amount into under 13 minutes’ runtime. This time around is no different – in fact, it’s even shorter. “We rip ‘em out”, says Press. “Yeah, we don’t mess around,” laughs Conlan. “We get in there and do it.”
Watch: Nick Nuisance and The Delinquents perform ‘Head’ for Rekorderlig Sauna Sounds
To retain the previous EP’s zest, the band once again recorded live to tape with the help ofCheap Things’ producer Owen Penglis – frontman for beloved Sydney garage rock outfit Straight Arrows. Earlier this year, the two bands toured together in support of Straight Arrows’ single ‘Out and Down’.
Press and Conlan are quick to point out that as far as a writing the songs itself, it’s a fairly organic process. “Nick writes the majority of the songs, along with Cameron [Holdstock, guitarist]. They’re not really ever written though we just build around an idea, and go for it,” says Conlan.
It checks out – hearing Nick Nuisance & The Delinquents, it’s hard to imagine them pain-stakingly recording individual parts ad nauseum, or spending hours fine-tuning their effect pedal settings. In fact, the band are reticent to concede much of a concentrated writing process at all – “we didn’t so much write it as… put a bunch of songs together,” offers Press about the forthcoming EP.
“We had already been playing those songs for around a year, and they mostly came out of when we’d have time to mess around during practice, that’s what we were doing,” elaborates Conlan. “It turned into the fun part of the practice, and then it became the fun part of the set, so we were like, well, let’s record.”
This kind of laid-back approach feels like it’s in the spirit of Australia’s garage rock tradition; the combination of fast, frenetic music with an attitude that doesn’t take itself too seriously. “We’re just having a time,” reads the band’s Unearthed bio. It’s the kind of thing that is reminiscent of acts like Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Royal Headache or even The UV Race, and which feels like it’s currently enjoying a quiet renaissance, tucked away in the inner west’s crowded, sticky pubs.
Quite the opposite of those pubs, the band recently played a much different sort of venue as part of the Rekorderlig Sauna Sounds, but things definitely got just as heated as they usually do onstage.
“We were all really hot, it was very sweaty, and we’d had some sneaky drinks before we went in there,” says Conlan.
“We got in our undies in front of a film crew…” laughs Press, “the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre is an extremely horny place.”
The band performed new song ‘Head’ for the session, a track which retains all the frantically loose energy of their earlier material. Watching Nick Nuisance & The Delinquents live – in a sauna, or out – there’s a certain visible chemistry and comfort with each other that the band’s members share. That makes a lot of sense, as the band’s personal lives are woven well into the fabric of the band itself. “We’ve been playing for a long time, and we’ve all known each other even longer,” explains Press.
“I’ve known Nick for like 12 years,” adds Conlan. “Me, Nick and Cameron are all from up north so we met when we were quite young, and then Dec came into the picture when we all moved to Sydney. We hang out quite intimately – we’ve all lived together in different houses and we spend probably every night together. We are each other’s social group, it’s not just a band thing.”
From regular dinners, spending Christmas together and travelling together outside of the band, for Conlan, it’s important to ensure that the band comes second to the relationships they’ve built with each other. In doing so, it’s actually proved fairly valuable to keeping the music fun and the band sustainable.
“It makes the band not feel like a job,” agrees Press. “It’s just us hanging out and playing music.”
If you like what you saw in the Rekorderlig Sauna Sounds performance, subscribe to see more here.