Supports – Chaos Divine, Illyria
Amplifier, Perth WA
9th April 2016
Perth local Atl-Rockers Illyria opened the night and although not the most polished band on the bill, made up for it with a high energy heavy as fuck set that gained more fans from the early crowd.
Chaos Divine… And it was.
Perth’s own prog-metallers tore the Amplifier Bar a new one. Lead singer David Anderton is a fucking machine, mixing brutal growls and beautiful harmonies that translate even better live. And that’s not the least of it. This band is as tight as any band playing today. Song after song, Chaos Divine proved why they were called up to support Caligula’s Horse on their national tour. These guys have been around for a decade and are going from strength to strength. They not only smashed it, they laid down a challenge to the headliners to come.
Caligula’s Horse have brought their A-game on this national tour in support of their new single ‘Turn Tail’. Chaos Divine set the bar for the night but Caligula’s Horse raised it again. They are quite simply a cut above all the rest. Jim Grey’s vocals are something to behold – mellifluous and brutal in equal measures. Tracks from 2015’s album ‘Bloom’ featured early in the set with ‘Rust’ kicking things off, then quickly followed by title track and ‘Marigold’. Playing new music is risky in a world where so many want to hear the old stuff, and judging by the response this Perth crowd wanted exactly what they were getting. The band were visibly delighted by the crowd singing back almost every song word for word, and this bunch of Queenslanders had the West Australian crowd in the palm of its hand for the entire set.
How do you get everyone in the venue to jump? You tell them to – and that’s exactly what happened. From front to back there wasn’t at idle punter in the house. As older songs like ‘A Gift To Afterthought’ kicked in so did the intensity and the mosh pit. Special mention has to go to the shirtless ginger behind the drum kit, Geoff Irish. He is nothing short of a machine, utterly destroying his percussion.
The energy Caligula’s Horse exudes is infectious and just as they whipped the crowd into a frenzy, a spanner was thrown in the works. Jim Grey stopped the show to announce the next song wasn’t a song at all but poetry. Grey doesn’t just wear his heart on his sleeve, he also wears it on his chest, in form of a black sleeveless tshirt with the words “Real Australians Say Welcome” emblazoned on it. He made it clear this wasn’t a political statement as he fired shots at both sides of Australian politics, but about having a heart and showing compassion for the children still locked up in detention camps. There followed a poem, ‘Charon’, a risky move at the best of times but the punters ate it up and finished with a huge cheer. The band then launched into ‘Turntail’ to round out the set.
As Caligula’s Horse had done things their own way the whole night, they weren’t about to stop now, with no ‘walking off stage and pretending to not come back for an encore’ wank. Jim Grey asked everyone to turn their backs to the stage and face the back of the room and to my surprise and his everyone did – it was hilarious. Once the Amplifier Bar was back facing the correct direction the boys from Brisbane lunched into ‘The City Has No Empathy (Your Sentimental Lie)’ and ‘Dark Hair Down’.
That’s where it ended, sweaty, exhausted and thoroughly entertained.