GANGS, drugs, alcohol, prostitution, razor blades…

No, it’s not an episode of Underbelly but 1920s Darlinghurst with dapper street thugs and seedy crime syndicates.

It’s a world that has inspired Sydney quartet The Snowdroppers to revamp a new age in grimy nostalgia. Dressed in suave suits, braces and slick hairdos, they certainly look the part and their sound is just as fitting.

Lead singer Johnny Wishbone told The Northern Star the band has been compared to other eras too.

“We have from 1899 to 1963 covered!” he said.

To keep in theme, each member has created his own stage name.

Wishbone reluctantly divulged his name was taken from a Beverly Hills Cop II character. Hardly a knife-wielding gangster!

The Snowdroppers – made up of tattooed front man and guitarist Pauly K, tweed-clad bassist London, and drummer Cougar Jones – are a growling, grungy, downright dirty gang of punk/bluesmen.

“Me, London and Pauly went to uni together and met Cougar at a burlesque show, he’s a dancer. We encourage your lady readers to ask him for a dance at our show,” Wishbone said.

Taking their name from an early 20th century slang term for cocaine addict, they began performing their own burlesque shows in Sydney titled Good Drugs, Bad Women.

“It was an opportunity to flex some stuff,” Wishbone said. “Apart from Cougar, we were all in other bands; we didn’t think it would lead to anything.”

But it proved a successful launching pad. Their debut album Too Late to Pray was released last year, a collection of bombastic gravel-choked hooks.

“We’ve found out that it’s being illegally downloaded,” he laughed. “Does this mean we’ve made it?”

First single Rosemary is a gritty boy meets girl tale. Their latest offering, Do The Stomp, is a harmonica-driven, clap-ya-hands style anthem.

“We’re over the moon about it,” Wishbone said, although he admitted that he had read a few nasty reviews.

The Snowdroppers are sweat-dripping, tub-thumping larrikins with an attitude to match.

But don’t expect too much trouble at a Snowdroppers’ gig.

“No one’s been knifed yet,” Wishbone laughed. “The worst thing that’s happened is a guy got glassed. But it was with a plastic cup so I guess there’s a light at the end of that tunnel!”

Together for three years, the boys have had a cracking 2010, supporting international acts like The Avett Brothers and Seasick Steve, a slot at Bluesfest, a head-lining tour and released their debut album.

The Snowdroppers hit Nimbin tonight but will return in August to support Grinspoon at the Great Northern in Byron.

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