COG – The Northern Hotel

COG + sleepmakeswaves

Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay

8th July 2016


For COG fans it has been a long wait since they last played a low-key unofficial last show at Coogee Bay Hotel. In the years between bands such as Karnivool and Dead Letter Circus filled the void left by COG but true devotees held onto hope they would get to see the Bondi boys again. So when this tour was announced it sold out straight away, the very first show of tour was in COG’s adopted home of Byron Bay.


Support act sleepmakeswaves are a post-rock act – similar sound to COG but no vocals. Each song starts slowly and builds to an epic crescendo while band members trash about and head bang making up for the lack of a front mans presence. The Sydney four-piece have recently been joined by Dan Oreskovic of Meniscus who is well known in the post-rock scene.


There was just enough time for punters to take a deep breath and grab a beer before the mighty COG took to the stage in a haze of drifting smoke opening with the epic “Doors”.


For the next 90 minutes COG took the crowd on a nostalgic yet current journey through their two albums and early EP’s. The lighting alternated between atmospheric to blinding. Luke Gower has grown a long full beard while Flynn sported his trademark Dr Suess moustache. It was late in the set when Flynn explained this out of nowhere tour as they had recently reunited with Lucius to (hopefully) work on new material. The performance was tight and seemless but had a nostalgic feel which would be aided by an injection of new material.


Favourite tracks include: What If? Resonate, Swamp and the massive The Spine/ My Enemy one two punch. The crowd sang along like these songs were still on Triple J high rotation.


For band who have been in hiatus for 4 years this was a remarkably cohesive performance which will most likely get better during tour, I look forward to new material and future tours. After the show nearly 3/4s of the crowd were wearing a COG t-shirt with pride.


In COG we trust.


Reviewer/photographer: James O’Connor