Fear and Loathing in Moruya –The Acid Fuelled Birth of Nancy and The Jam Fancys

Taking acid with a pair of piglets liberated from rural grow house being raided by the cops in regional New South Wales seems an unlikely genesis for a band. For Moruya’s Nancy and The Jam Fancys – a quintet generating new noise from a tiny town better known for its oysters than thoughtful, melodically structured pub punk rock – that porcine psychedelic encounter became both titular and the starting point of a new musical trip together.

Already garnering the support of Bad/Dreems alum Alex Cameron’s Endless Recordings label, Nancy and The Jam Fancys, local friends who have “known each other forever” and seemingly the total sum of musical talent in the area, are bringing a decidedly different shape of punk to come with introductory singles Carmen Electra and more recently Run bringing favourable attention.

Lead vocalist Lewis Griffin is the Fancys’ ace in the hole. His everyman charm belies one of the most idiosyncratic new voices on the Australian scene. Inspired by his “big three” of Cave, Waits and Buckley, his blown cone tone suggests malt whiskey filtered through a bucket of the course granite that the band’s hometown is famous for. The striking counterbalance Griffins vocals make against the urgent melodic pulsations made by his bandmates instantly defines the group from the hoard of Australian punks coming up through the ranks.

The band which also features member Bryce Mizzi, Alex Blakeney, Brett Muskett and Cody Hopkins, came together formally during the pandemic work on a democratic principle where “there’s really no significant leader,” rather, “whoever happens to be sober at the time.”

With a sound reminiscent of punkish 80’s groups like the Celibate Rifles, Spy vs Spy and The Sunnyboys, the band claim no one in the group “have been super exposed to 80’s Sydney punk rock.” Rather they feel themselves as more of a New South Wales distillation of “modern guitar driven Australian garage rock,” with totems as disparate as The Stooges through to The Smiths to call on.

But back to those pigs. Griffin and a mate, “jagged these two little piglets” from a grow house full of pigs that was being run by a “real redneck motherfucker”. The property marked by a dead pigs head on a stick had been raided by the pi…err, cops and its nefarious operator was due to spend some time at her majesty’s behest. Griffin and his mate jailbroke two of the little porkers and subsequently cared for them by dumpster diving for scraps and candy. Soon they became rather large hogs.

As it happens in a small town without very much to do, Griffin and some mates were on a chemically enhanced weekend retreat, which ultimately found them hanging out with the now huge swine in a pen in the middle of the bush – as you do.

“We were hanging out with them high, and for some reason when you are on drugs you just start saying random shit, so we were talking about jam fancies, the biscuits and how nice they were,” he recalls.

Another mate, “a bushy dude with dreadlocks” fell asleep in the pen, and while the conversation about the fruity indulgence encased between decorative soft biscuits continued, the slumbering bushy mate was slowly being nibbled on by one of the big pigs. Woken by the gnashers of the pig going at his feet he was heard to mumble, “no, Nancy no!” So that pig was dubbed Nancy. The other pig was, of course now called Jam Fancy!

As the Monday after that weekend dawned, Griffin armed with that recent experience which by now had become a burning idea for a band name put the moniker to the vote with fellow bandmates and Nancy and The Jam Fancys were born.

Since then, the band have been playing shows with the likes of The Hard Ons, Pist Idiots and by the time you read this will have completed a regional run with Perth stalwarts Jebediah. With recording for a debut EP scheduled for the new year expect that Nancy and The Jam Fancys, the band born from an idea in a pig stye 300km south of Sydney will no doubt be garnering attention on a more national scale.

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