Tap Hammer Set To Boot Up The Bootlegger

Article by Corin Shearston

Background photo credit: Rogerio De Lima Garcia

Tap Hammer Set To Boot Up The Bootlegger

Re-invigorated and ready to rock hard and heavy, young upper mountains trio Tap Hammer are preparing to headline The Bootlegger Bar in Katoomba on June 22, as the final act playing at Winter Magic Indoors.  After first forming in January last year, the exciting group are now returning to the live scene after a three month hiatus due to health issues.

They’re still made up of their ‘OG three’ – frontman- guitarist Reyhn Marvin, formerly of TRASH BABY and LITTER, bassist Sam Toppo, formerly of Wolf & The New World Disorder, and frequently sought-after drummer Holly Garcia, whose double kicking metal chops are definitely worth witnessing firsthand.  The youngest member of the band, Garcia can also be sighted behind the cymbals in Acid Amora and Q&TB with Matt Downey (LITTER, Cousin Betty), while being a former member of Wolf & The New World Disorder and LITTER. Through Tap Hammer’s members all having shared chemistry in LITTER, the hardcore punk meets jazz experiment masterminded by frontman Matt Downey, (in which I also drummed in, along with TRASH BABY), not to mention countless party jams and music sessions, they’ve shared many a stage together.

Before their brief break, Tap Hammer’s last performance was at the punky Penrith dive bar Elton Chong in late February, where they supported the brilliant Western Sydney alt-rock trio Anteaters along with RED BEE’s Ian Dunn, who performed as a solo singer-songwriter.  Back in August last year, they loudly tracked an album’s worth of original material in a house in north Katoomba, shaking suburbia with their arsenal of riffs, fills, leads and low-end grooves. Helming the producer’s chair over their three day session was Ian Pritchett, a collaborator with the likes of Angus & Julia Stone and Kim Churchill. After being recommended by Matt Downey, Pritchett “brought his preamps and computer, crammed them into his Honda Civic and drove up”, Marvin explained. “He rebuilt an ad hoc control room in the lounge room”.

“That was an amazing weekend”, adds Toppo, “Ian’s an absolute legend and wizard”. While the Trowe Ave share house in which most of Tap Hammer’s upcoming album was tracked in became a thing of the past two months after the recording occurred, the album is yet to be finished with help from the group’s good friend, Tyson ‘Fuzzman’ Forsaith, in his Katoomba home studio. Local man of sound about town, Forsaith can often be spotted working the mixing console for live electric groups such as The Porkers at The Baroque Room, while he’s contributed to the recording of albums by defunct mountains groups Feast Of Fools and Paperhill.

Describing his group’s  relationship with ‘the fuzz man’, Marvin stated, “he’s the best, he’s a brother” – he also recorded Garcia’s lead vocal debut on the first single from Q&TB, ‘Little Holes’.  In a touching addition to the tale of Tap Hammer, Marvin himself is currently teaching recording skills to the youth at MYST, Katoomba’s youth centre. Leading an extensive program that has already seen five sessions in preparation for a MYST compilation, Marvin has imparted studio knowledge gained from his internship at Sydney’s Studio 301 upon emerging solo artists and high school bands like Residue, who he describes as “four piece psychedelic blues rock”.

For a group who were instantly keen to play from the get-go and cite their influences as a rich mix between Foo Fighters, Kyuss, Black Flag, Clowns and Soundgarden, the hammering of Tap Hammer will encourage sparks to fly at The Bootlegger, upon the invitation of Charity Mirow from Fusion Boutique. Or as Marvin describes it, “it’s my opportunity to get really pissed off and yell at a bunch of strangers”. Stay tuned for more news of their album, and prepare for some surprise live covers and instrument swaps on the night.

“When we get to play a show, [after getting through] all the work and bullshit you have to go through in life, [getting] to those amazing moments makes it all feel worth it”, explained Marvin. “It’s therapy, man”.

Reyhn Marvin of Tap Hammer
Sam Toppo of Tap Hammer

Bootlegger Bar & Bistro

Tap Hammer


WHAT: Winter Magic Indoors – FREE Live Music!
WHERE: Bootlegger Bar Ground & 2nd Floor
92 Bathurst Rd, Katoomba NSW 2780
WHEN: SAT 22/06/24 6pm-11:45pm
Bookings advised: www.bootleggerbar.com.au
Thanks to Winter Magic Indoors and Fusion Boutique, Bootlegger Bar will be showcasing 3 days of FREE ENTRY entertainment in this family friendly space with something for everyone.
• 6:15-7:30pm Mountain Ash (Grnd Floor)
• 8:00-8:45pm Human Noise ‘Glitching Colour’ Album Launch Tour (2nd Floor)
• 9:15-10:30pm Mitchell Pearce Trio (2nd Floor)
• 11:00-11:45pm Tap Hammer (2nd Floor)
Come watch the fireworks from our rooftop beer garden!
Smore’s by the fire will also be available to purchase. Then stay for some family friendly live music following.
• 6:15-7:30pm Mountain Ash (Grnd Floor)
Rachael Kennedy, Will Druce and Sophie Prior are a folk trio from the Blue Mountains known for earthy, harmony laden covers.
• 8:00-8:45pm Human Noise ‘Glitching Colour’ Album Launch Tour (2nd Floor)
Released on April 17, Glitching Colour is the second full-length offering from Australian indie rock band Human Noise. Based between Melbourne and Sydney (with 2 members originally from the Blue Mountains), the four piece have built a reputation for making music that is both agitated and introspective.
“Equal parts slick, energetic, and impossible to ignore” – Rolling Stone Australia
• 9:15-10:30pm Mitchell Pearce Trio (2nd Floor)
Mitchell Pearce (Danger Baby, Jackal or Tiger, Swell Triplex), invites you to be part of the Winter Magic experience at The Bootlegger. Taking influence from Power Trio progenitors Cream, Grand Funk Railroad and Rory Gallagher, Mitchell weaves a musical journey and revels in the joy of improvisation. Join us for a night of mesmerizing music and become immersed in the moment. Experience the magic of the Mitchell Pearce Trio live at The Bootlegger.
• 11:00-11:45pm Tap Hammer (2nd Floor)
Tap Hammer is a hard hitting, high energy alt-rock band from the Blue Mountains. The band’s dynamic range goes from fast paced punk songs to stoner rock inspired epics and a couple swing/blues inspired songs.
Bootlegger Bar Katoomba is a place of good old fashioned fun where people can eat, meet and greet and be human again.
Fully licensed bar offering a large selection of Wines, Beers, Whisky, Gin, Cocktails & Good Food – low and slow and vegetarian & vegan options available.
2 intimate floors and a secret beer garden await you!
Bookings are advised to avoid disappointment:
Please make a note at the time of booking tables online that you are there for the live music in the special request box so that your reservation can be allocated to the same level.

CONTACT DETAILS OF EVENT ORGANISER: Charity Mirow / Fusion Boutique info@fusionboutique.com.au
For more information visit: www.fusionboutique.com.au 

See less
Music & audio

Tap Hammer is back! 🎸 After laying low due to health issues within the band, we are ready to rock again. 🤘 We will be playing at Bootlegger Bar on June 22nd, as the final band wrapping up the Winter Magic celebrations. 🎉 Limited capacity, so be sure to book ahead! We can’t wait to play for you all again! 🤟

“A recent Facebook statement from Tap Hammer”

Photo credit: Rogerio De Lima Garcia.

Tap Hammer Facebook

Tap Hammer Instagram


Reyhn on the Blue Mountains Live Podcast


Discover more articles by Corin Shearston