“Is this a real church?” asks Big Smoke’s jokester drummer Luke Brennan. Yes, it is. With a name that promises nothing but a good time, The Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo is the charming factory-turned chapel tucked away in a city laneway and playing host to Parlour's, Holy Days. Holy thou they are. As the springtime sunlight faded into a cool October night, the boys of Melbourne quartet Big Smoke offered up their own rock and roll prayers to the crowded, candle-lit room.
Pared back for the intimate setting, the acoustic set still rolled with the band’s unique twang of folk rock; the bare bones sound giving those signature soulful lyrics added command. The crowd, casually draped over cushions on the floor or perched on make-shift pews, were spellbound by the raw and rustic homily, which included a stunning alternative version of the title track of latest record Lately. Known for his soaring vocals, frontman Adrian Slattery channelled more of Dylan as he powered through the performance with laryngitis, occasionally handing over the reins to Brennan who enchanted with smooth vocals and (mostly) smooth jokes “you’d find us funny if you hung out with us,” he promised. But that was the magic of the night – hanging out with this charming band, in this charming chapel and feeling like you were part of something just a little Boogaloo-sacred.