The Triffid, Brisbane
July 16th, 2016
Supported by Clowns, Axe Girl & Walken
Nothing gets in the way of a good rock show, not even a somewhat pain stricken old man at age 29 complaining of a back problem hours before he was supposed to get his mosh on at The Bennies and Friends last night… But enough about me and my shit back, I’m truly stoked I managed to down a cup of concrete and check out what the boys had to offer last night because I left with the biggest smile on my face after witnessing what can only be described as a brutal party rock evening for everyone over the age of 18.
Our evening started late when local boys Walken hit the stage at exactly 9pm (bonus points for punctuality) sporting a combination of Hawaiian shirts and tie-die it was at that moment we realised what kind of show we were about to be in for as they filled the already half capacity venue with their unique stoner rock style tunes. Surprisingly they sounded better than expected, however that could have been due to the fact The Triffid is the Best Venue in QLD for Live Music. After addressing their party vibe attire and cracking a few “Strayan Slang” jokes they moved right onto the next song which changed the vibe entirely, this time a heavy grunge/psychedelic thrash combination took over and wow they were impressive. By the middle of the 3rd song they had gone above and beyond impressing everyone staring at them throughout the entire venue and we were all in awe of their genre crossing, rap and even guitar dj scratching skills (i.e: playing the guitar so it sounds like a DJ scratching a vinyl record). For an opening act these guys exceeded my expectations and if you rocked up to the gig late you unfortunately missed out on one of the better acts from the night. High recommend seeing these blokes again, I sure will be lining up next time.
Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Western Australia’s Axe Girl who have been on the whole tour and to be honest, they seemed a little out of place with their pop punk/slow jam style of music. Upon the first few notes I could have sworn I was at a late 90’s No Doubt concert as the foursome slowly made their way into our ears and continued to perform at that pace for the rest of their set. Front-woman Axe sounded great at first, like a combination of Gwen Stefani and Hayley Williams of Paramore fame with her own unique spin and extremely hyper on-stage antics between songs. As they progressed through their almost modern age rockabilly sound, several joints were sparked up in the mosh pit below and the back of the room slowly filled with wafts Marijuana. Maybe that’s what was needed to enjoy them because unfortunately they didn’t resonate with me at all and I very quickly lost interest.
Between songs, Axe would get the crowd pumped and amped up to be there, almost insinuating that a fast paced, more upbeat song was about to be bestowed upon us, yet once they started playing the mood and energy was brought from a 9 all the way back to a dismal 3. I’ll give them points for trying though, they sounded good but the way they set performed for the audience was a little lacklustre. This was the band’s first ever gig in Queensland, I can assure you they’ll be back but things will have to change for me to want to sit through another one of their sets again.
Now onto the biggest surprise act I have witnessed this year, Clowns have been doing the touring rounds for a while now and have progressively been popping up more and more, I however have never had the chance to witness the sheer madness these Melbourne boys bring to the stage until tonight and HOLY SHIT THEY DID NOT FAIL TO IMPRESS. The second they were on stage the party was brought and all I could think of was the fact these guys were like the Australian love child of bands like Cancer Bats, Every Time I Die and Andrew W.K. except they were just as good (if not better) than some of their counterparts. All the metal heads pushed their way to the front of the room which did not stop moving for the entire length they played for. I felt for the sorry stoners and emo kids (presumable there for Axe Girl) who somehow managed to get stuck in the middle of the mosh-pit as there were bodies, shoes and drinks flying in all directions.
By song #2 it seemed like the entire bottom section of the room had sped up by 300% as the band did the exact same, adding more metal and more fun into the equation with each note struck. If “Party Metal” was in the dictionary, you’d see a photo of these guys smashing cones beside it, not giving one fuck. In all the years I have been to gigs, I have never seen such a small circle pit produce so much energy and force. These guys were definite show stealers, if only I could have joined the crowd below for the fun, although on second thought after the way the place looked after, it’s surprising no one actually died.
Onto the main event, 11:30pm DJ Otzi‘s #1 commercial radio hit “Hey Baby” played throughout The Triffid and was greeted by open arms and voices by the swarm of fans below as Melbourne stoners The Bennies hit the stage in a cloud of smoke. Fake smoke. The Rastafarian styled “Heavy Reggae” was the opening song of choice complete with saxaphone, rocking guitar and drums and a sound box that at first seemed overused but later played an integral part to their unique blend of metal and rap-hop…and whatever the fuck else was thrown in the mix. Up next “Detroit Rock Ciggies” continued to keep the crowd on their feet, both Jules and Craig feeding off each other to maintain momentum on both guitar and bass and Bowie on drums, well he didn’t stop the entire set. I looked down and was gobsmacked to see what it actually looks like when The Triffid Sells Out a show, there was almost literally no room to move, yet everyone was at least jumping up and down getting into it as much as possible. “What’s Your Fuckin’ Problem?” didn’t disappoint with it’s heavy reggae rock sound and a sneaky cameo from Axe of Axe Girl lifted the spirits of the blokes in the room. Synths and Rock kicked off the next fast paced and heavily rocking song, appropriately named “Heavy Disco” where the lasers above made it feel like we were literally at an old Blue Light Disco, if it had been run by Metal Heads instead.
There was literally no time to catch your breath had you been close to the stage, at one point a guy was catapulted out of the mosh and somehow managed to do a handstand on the barrier bars, much to the approval of front-man Anty, who’s eyes lit up like Christmas as the security did a fantastic job of catching the punter and making sure he was alright. Top job by those guys too, they deserved every dollar they worked for last night especially during he next song”Acid On Me Brain“. “Highrider” however, began with a dedication to Brisbane’s Best Bar, Crowbar where the boys have frequented a few times before in he past, none of which I had the chance to see, but if last night’s show was anything to go by, I can only imagine how bat shit insane it would have been up close in that place… unfortunately for myself, this is where the night ended for me. Yes that back issue again you don’t give two shits about but from what I saw last night I will intend of tracking down 3 of 4 bands again and making sure to watch the shit out of them from the comfort of my wheel chair.
I had no idea what to expect going into this show, yet I was met by extreme heaviness and a newfound love for a small band called Clowns. Get amongst these guys and if you ddin’t have fun last night, slap yourself.
Detroit Rock Ciggies
What’s Your Fuckin’ Problem
Acid On Me Brain
Anywhere You Wanna Go
Party Til’ I Die (Or Die Trying)
Legalise (But Don’t Tax)
O’ Brother, Where Art Thou
Until next time, rock the fuck out (but take care of yourself)