West Thebarton's debut album beams with suburban pride

SEVENTH HEAVEN: Adelaide's West Thebarton are at the forefront of the pub rock revival in the city of churches.
SEVENTH HEAVEN: Adelaide's West Thebarton are at the forefront of the pub rock revival in the city of churches.

THE western end of Thebarton isn’t one of Adelaide’s more picturesque suburbs. Don’t expect the sunny boulevards of Glenelg or the lefty-streets of Unley Park.

The far end of the inner-western suburb is dotted with factories, car yards, a dump and home to West End Brewery. It’s working-class to the core.

But it’s also an ideal breeding ground for rock’n’roll and the suburb has given birth to arguably Adelaide’s most exciting new band West Thebarton (formerly West Thebarton Brothel Party).

“That’s where we rehearse and you can be as loud as you want at any godly hour of the morning,” West Thebarton drummer-guitarist Brian Bolado said.

“Thebarton is the area just outside the city that we’ve pretty much flocked to since we finished school.”

West Thebarton - Stuck On You

Since the seven-piece formed in 2013 out of a series of jam sessions, they have based themselves in Thebarton and the suburb’s grittiness has enriched their music, which is often described as a Millennial take on Aussie pub rock.

It’s there in the dueling tense punk riffs and frontman Ray Dalfsen’s sand-papered vocals and beer-soaked lyrics.

Two weeks ago West Thebarton released their debut album Different Beings Being Different on Domestic La La, an indie label owned by Violent Soho’s James Tidswell.

The tracks Moving Out and Bible Camp were well known, but the album exposed a greater depth to West Thebarton’s songwriting with the anthemic shout-out Stuck Of You and the more tender Paul Kelly-style closer Set it Straight.

“A few people have being saying a lot of nice things about the album, so it feels good,” Bolado said. “It feels like the end of a very long process. We’ve been labouring over it for so long.”

Different Beings Being Different was recorded early last year, but the band kept patient, waiting for the ideal opportunity.  

“You only release your debut album once,” Bolado said. “We admire some great debut albums, and we’re not comparing ourselves to any great acts, but we had underlying nerves about putting this thing out.”

West Thebarton make their Newcastle debut at the Cambridge Hotel on June 9.

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