Gig Reviews

Violent Soho, DZ Deathrays, Dune Rats – Enmore Theatre, Sydney 27/05/16

It’s pretty obvious what’s coming, a few of their good songs, some less-excitables in the middle, before the setlist’s wave curls and smashes down with a banger, the Hell Fuck Yeah of Covered in Chrome.

This was a weird show, mostly bad.

Anyway, first to the supports. The Gooch Palms (great name), Dune Rats and DZ Deathrays all opened, in that order.

Violent Soho curated well, with each band packing a similar take on their grunge/pro-getting-blazed ethos but expressing it a bit differently.

The Gooch Palms rocked out in that weird indie-shoegaze way of theirs, with the unexpected Fred Schneider-esque vocals being a treat. Dune Rats, who looked as grommy as their name suggested, played their “hey lets rock why not” brand of surf-tinged alt-ness.

Then DZ came out, with a rabid reception to make you think they were the main act. Their dance-rock effort certainly got the crowd going, but the off-kilter bass drum sound and disappointing melodic parts left the reasons for their rabid reception unanswered. Funnily enough, they played a cover of Blur’s Song 2, which confused the crowd a bit.

Now, an answer as to why one of the easiest party-starting songs didn’t have its desired effect is probably easily explained. Take the focus off the stage, and it’s easy to see.

Triple J posters plastered the wall, as if Richard Kingsmill was saying “I am Richard Kingsmill and I approve this message”; blokes walking around in Batman pyjamas in some misplaced sense of mature party sense; and, worst of all (not to say wearing pyjamas is bad, just lame), standing at the back-right of the Enmore, furthest from the entrance, seeing four ejectees being escorted out for security before Violent Soho had even hit the stage.

Worst of all, some dipshit thought it’d be ~radical~ to climb down the front of the overhanging seats onto the dancefloor. Nope, wrong. He was quickly thrown out. This gig was so full of (grating) immaturity that it was hard to believe it wasn’t all-age.

Back to the show – which at this stage you’d think would be the reason why you’d come to gig – and Violent Soho showed themselves after a dropsheet signalled the opening chords of their set.

Coming out to a rather interesting mix of Waco (How to Taste, Evergreen), the Neighbour Neighbour EP and Hungry Ghost. They soon settled into a rather healthy list of songs off Waco – listening to mostly new songs is an understated pleasure. They performed all with aplomb.

Viceroy, with its cheesy but still poetic opening hook of “you’re just like a rhinestone pick up line”, served as the start of the rollercoaster’s climb before the fall. It was here that Violent Soho began to meander into being a band, catching their breath – actually, singer Luke Boerdam said more than once that he was losing his voice – also including a pretty dope session of rocking out.

That, though, like Song 2, received a stunted reception. Here was a band, pulling out, improvising and expanding upon the ideas and creativity which concertgoers have ostensibly come to see (hear), and a collective ‘nuh’ was all they got in return.

There was also a weird moment during this denouement, when lead guitarist and crowd liaison James Tidwell was having a chat (“How are ya Sydney??”) and a cup whizzed straight past him. “What’s with all the chucking shit?” Tidwell quizzed, almost to himself.

It was a ripe observation though, what was with all the chucking? Lucky Josh Homme wasn’t on stage. He would’ve gone mental. A whole wardrobe found its way onto Violent Soho – at one stage a jumper was being thrown around like a beach ball – and a stupid amount of cups and cans were pelted forward. There was also an extreme amount of kids getting onto the stage, which provided a little bit of humour as one bouncer – in his bright red – struggled with the flood of kids, at most times throwing them off them stage by their necks two at a time.

Finally, the moment had arrived. All the other members of the opening entourage came out on stage, and Covered in Chrome was belted out for the last time.

The kids were happy, the bands were happy. That’s about it.




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