Melbourne favourites The Smith Street Band have taken to their social media calling for their fanbase to help them catch a pair of crooks that made off with their gear at a recent show at Melbourne’s Old Bar.

Frontman Wil Wagner wrote a post on the band’s Facebook page this afternoon explaining that a recently purchased amplifier was stolen in the early hours of Sunday morning at the venue following a performance by the Smith Street Band with The Bennies, El Alamein, Stockades, Apart From This and Lee Hartney Sex Drive, as FasterLouder points out.

“On Saturday night (technically Sunday morning), at around 2.30am someone stole my Fender combo amp off the stage at The Old Bar,” writes the 22-year-old songwriter in the post. “If you saw anything or know someone that did please let us know. I would much rather just get the amp back than get police involved but I will if I have to because we leave for tour in 10 days and I’d kind of like to use an amp.”

The band are headed out on an extensive national headline tour this month in support of their new EP Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams (which was released last week) before embarking overseas for a dense touring itinerary in Europe and the UK. Wagner says he doesn’t want the amp theft to “take away from what was a fucking magical weekend and I want to give massive thanks to everyone at the Old Bar. They’ve been super fucking helpful and I have full faith that this will get sorted out.”

To that end, the band have now shared images taken from the venue’s CCTV footage that shows two males allegedly involved in the theft.

The Smith Street Band frontman makes it clear that he isn’t after a witch hunt but simply wants his stolen gear returned to him. “As angry as I am with the person who did it I understand that people do stupid shit all the time,” says Wagner. “I hope that they are somewhere knowing that they fucked up, but that all will be forgiven and forgotten if I can get the amp I’d played live twice and owned for like 3 weeks back. I kind of liked it;” urging anyone with information to contact the band directly.

UPDATE: Following the search for the stolen amp going viral, The Smith Street Band have been keeping fans posted on the status of “#ampgate” in a series of ongoing updates on their Facebook this afternoon. First Wagner received an email with the subject: “I am the fedora wearing scumbag mate” from one of the thieves captured in the CCTV footage.

Following refusing to give up the details of his friend (the non-hat wearing ‘scumbag’ in the above images) with the stolen amp (“they are bargaining with me internet!! This is amazing” wrote Wagner), there were further negotiations with the Smith Street Band frontman upholding his promise not to turn in the crooks to police if they ensured the return of his stolen amplifier.

Then came the confirmation from the Old Bar.

— The Old Bar (@theoldbar) August 12, 2013

“Seriously, today has been the highlight of my musical career thus far,” wrote Wagner of the bizarre exchange with ‘#fedoraguy’, while joking that “pictures of this dude’s face will be available on Smith Street Band merch very soon.”

The Smith Street Band’s current EP and forthcoming tour are also named after another incident that marred one of the band’s live shows. Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams and its title track were directly inspired by a gig in which a member of fellow opening support The Bennies was hospitalised after being stabbed with a broken whiskey bottle by an intoxicated punter at an all-ages show.

Guitarist Julien ‘Jules’ Rozenbergs was the victim of the stabbing at Byron Bay’s The Shed earlier this year, after he attempted to calm down an aggravated gig-goer before attempting to restrain him outside the venue in a scuffle that resulted in the guitarist receiving a “20cm by 20cm” gash in his armpit.

Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams was something Jules said during the incident, and that kind of became a motto for the rest of the tour,” Wagner explains. “We want to make a positive change in the world and we want to create the happiest, best party environments for our shows and we are not going to let the dickheads win!”

The Smith Street Band 2013 Australian Tour

with Joyce Manor (USA) and Cheap Girls (USA)

Tix on sale now at

Thu Aug 22 – Rosemount Hotel, Perth WA*

Fri Aug 23 – Prince of Wales, Bunbury WA*

Sat Aug 24 – Adelaide Unibar, Adelaide SA*

Sun Aug 25 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat VIC*

Wed Aug 28 – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart TAS*

Thu Aug 29 – The Zoo, Brisbane QLD

Fri Aug 30 – Hotel Great Northern, Newcastle NSW

Sat Aug 31 – Annandale Hotel, Sydney NSW

Wed Sep 04 – Transit Bar, Canberra ACT

Sat Sep 07 – Poison City Weekender – Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC (SOLD OUT!)

Check out The Smith Street Band UK/European dates HERE.

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