-By Finn Smith
When I found out Violent Soho had announced their WACO tour with special guests and fellow Brisbane locals DZ Deathrays and Dune Rats I started warming up my neck and growing my hair for what was to undoubtedly be a night of heavy head banging, moshing and crowd surfing. The tour began in May to support the release of their highly acclaimed WACO album and was a fitting follow up to their insane St Jerome’s Laneway Festival performances.
One of the first things I noticed was the bands were scheduled to perform at the infamous Metro City nightclub in Northbridge. This was somewhat of a surprise to me and many Perth locals as the club has a notorious reputation as a hot spot for seedy characters, rinsers, gangsters and shitty drum and bass. However, on the night the usual crowd of tattooed gym junkies and blond girls in tight leather skirts dispersed and was replaced by a foaming mass of fans hailing from all corners of the city, united by an overarching love of rock music.
The Gooch Palms started the night providing a tasty appetizer of sun bleached surf punk on a bed of 80’s nostalgia. They brought the old school back to life, transporting the crowd both visually and sonically back to the 80’s with classic themes and iconic melodies. The drummer Kat provided a fast rhythmic beat for the lead singer Leroy to layer his deep raspy vocals over, to produce a sound similar to that of Joe Strummer from The Clash.
Once the Gooch Palms had finished their performance the audience were well and truly warmed up doubling in size before the Dune Rats burst onto stage. The bands hands and pockets were bursting with VB’s and Exports (WA’s favourite and once cheapest beers) to provide a few lucky members of the audience with much needed hydration. Once they had honoured the punk tradition of alcohol and drug infused chaos they kicked off the performance with a perfectly fitting song Dalai Lama, Big Banana, Marijuana. As the set went on the crowd increasingly ebbed and flowed to create an electrically wild and sweaty mosh pit. Halfway through the set there was a slight pause as lead singer Danny Beausa punished a beer and drummer BC Michaels threw up, presumably after ‘hydrating’ himself a little too much. To the credit of his performance was as vigorous and dynamic as ever with the band fuelling the fire through songs like Bullshit, Superman and Blister in the Sun. They ended their set with Funny Guy, and thanked the seething pit that had formed in front of them by screaming “We fucking love WA it always puts on a great show”.
DZ Deathrays kept the fire burning creating an exhilarating presence, the crowd surged forward and jumped in unison to their opening song, a cover of Starships We Built This City, which was periodically split with tremolo guitar and drum solos. After the opener the crowd seemingly collapsed into untamed chaos as the band effortlessly shredded No Sleep, Gina Works With Hearts, Less Out Of Sync and Blood On My Leather highlighting why they receive so much love for their progressive rock sound. The crowd screamed in adulation as the bands vocalist and guitarist addressed the crowd before performing a unique rendition of Blurs Song 2.
Moments after DZ Deathrays exited a cohort of stage hands busily erecte a large white curtain that adorned the stage blocking the crowd’s view, teasing their desire to see the grudge tainted rockers, Violent Soho. The curtain was lifted and the crowd hailed the rock kings as they exploded into How To Taste, the opening song for their recent WACO album. The rest of the set was characterised by hard hitting song embellished with rough catchy riffs and raspy emotive vocals from lead singer Luke Boerdam. Song such as Viceroy, So Sentimental, Soda and Fur Eyes highlighted why Violent Soho have been cemented as rock legends alongside the like of Client Liaison, Foo Fighters and The Smith Street Band. It was refreshing to hear a band that perform with such vigour and passion yet still create a refined and polished sound. If you were anywhere near the front you would have undoubtedly copped a spray of stale beer, been soaked in sweat and helped a fellow fan in ride the wave of moshers. Anyone new to the scene would have seen a menacing and cathartic spectacle, a feeling and atmosphere that has drawn me back to the rock / punk scene time and time again. Before the last song Boerdam revealed “A few years ago we were playing house parties; this is a pretty big house party”, the band then launched into their recently platinum song Covered in Chrome.
The song ended and for the first time that night, there was a brief moment of silence as the audience radiated a bucolic cloud of steam and body heat whilst they allowed the magnitude of the night to sink in. This only lasted for a fleeting moment before the crowd erupted in a final cheer.
Photo Credit: Anthony Tran/Metro City