The Boston, Perth, WA
June 4th, 2017
Supports – Night Birds (USA), T.R.S, Two For Flinching
On the back of album number three Lucid Again dropping just a few weeks ago, Melbourne’s Clowns have hit the road, touring around Australia and bringing with them one of the finest skate punk bands from New Jersey in the U.S in Night Birds. Clowns drummer, Jake Laderman even alluding to the fact of Night Birds having, “played a big part in influencing our album, Bad Blood” in a recent interview with Wall of Sound.
So again, it was one of Perth’s newer intimate venues, The Boston that hosted this fine line up and with a WA public holiday to follow this Sunday night feature it was fair to say the King Brown brews were flowing and the crowd were in fine spirits.
First up local Perth punks, Two for Flinching took to the stage, the Perth quartet hammering out a killer set, highlighting the tracks from the band’s EP, So We’ve Got That in Common. These guys are really talented with an energetic stage presence and judging from the EP and it’s delivery live, definitely a band to watch in the coming months.
The Rat Soup were next, better known as T.R.S and fronted by Margaret River legend, Karl Heussenstamm who also fronts his other thrash/punk band, Beerfridge. These guys commanded the stage and are funny as fuck too. A perfect mix of thrash, punk, comedy and speed with their bearded man mountain Shane Mumford (AFL people will know the reference) look-a-like bassist complete with pink kitten t-shirt stalking one half of the stage and a fake grey beard long haired “Angus Young plays thrash” wannbe in the other corner. It was as awesome as it sounds. The band ripped into stuff from their debut album, Better Out Than In, then surprised with some new tracks from Reset the Ratt Trap, a brand new album I didn’t even know fucking existed! I do now, read that review here. Kind of the Australian equivalent to Iron Reagan, only better. Special mention to the band’s setlist that must of measured 2.5m x 2.5m. Classic.
Hailing out of New Jersey and likely suffering a good case of jet lag, Night Birds hit the stage shortly thereafter transforming the pit into a swirling rage of bodies as their eclectic mix of skate/punk reverberated around the venue. Vocalist, Brian Gorsegner completely nuts, ranging in mannerisms that blend the schizophrenic nature of a Jello Biafra and the stare and aggression of someone like a Black Flag era Henry Rollins. One thing I noticed after a handful of tracks including a killer rendition of ‘In the Red/In the Black’ from 2015’s Mutiny at Muscle Beach, was that these guys are tight musicians. Impeccable. They may be a skate punk band but this band masters the art of frenetic energy and the riffs from guitarist PJ Russo are simply killer! Clowns pulled off a coup getting these guys out to Australia and I urge all punters heading to see this tour to seek this band’s discography out, some really great stuff to be uncovered.
Finally, Clowns hopped on stage, the band now a 5 piece and looking every bit the group we forecast to be on the cusp of something big in and out of Australia. With bass player and back up vocalist, Brisbane’s, Hanny J now taking centre stage alongside the band’s enthusiastic vocalist, Stevie Williams there’s just something good happening right now for Clowns, you can feel it. A lot of positive energy. Already hitting the stages on some the European and U.S festivals, Clowns would be kicking themselves that something like the defunct Big Day Out or Soundwave Festivals in Australia are a thing of the past as they would slay those stages. Anyway, rant over, here’s what happened.
‘Like a Knife at a Gun Fight’ kicked off, the second track from new album, Lucid Again, a straight-out ball tearer that had the punters going mental with Stevie Williams diving head first into his patent contortionist punk moves and then completing the moves with a head first stage dive. All this in the first song. Make no mistake, every time I see Clowns play, it’s always with a demonic fervour, always looking to entertain and this from a band that had landed in Perth just a few hours prior after playing consecutive nights playing in Cairns and Darwin. These guys just transform as soon as soon as they hit the stage, the new tracks translating to the live sound succinctly with an added aggression and “oomph” that you can only find seeing a live band in action.
An interesting ode to the past was ‘Coulrophobia’, ripped from the band’s Michael Crafter split, Powders, from fuck knows what year. A 60 second speed ball of hardcore punk. The more recognisable tracks, ‘Dropped My Brain’ and ‘Pickle’ and of course, ‘Euthanise Me’ from 2015’s Bad Blood simply, ripped. However, the highlight of the night was the band destroying the venue’s amps with an expanded 15 minute epic, ‘Human Error’. Again from 2015’s Bad Blood, the track gradually builds before exploding in a hardcore punk crescendo before backing off into ambient chords. Did it work live? Abso-fuckin-lutely, the band underlining their enormous talent and maturing sound, a fact demonstrated on new album, Lucid Again. Read our thoughts on the album here.
Another great line up sourced by The Drunk Promoter and hats off to Clowns and all the support cast. A great tour circling the country right now. Don’t miss out.
Like a Knife at a Gun Fight
Figure It Out
Repeat After Me
Noise in the Night
Dropped My Brain
It Stops with You
Dead in the Suburbs
Destroy the Evidence
TWO FOR FLINCHING
CLOWNS – LUCID AGAIN AUSTRALIAN TOUR
with special guests Night Birds (USA)
Thursday 8 June – Miami Shark Bar, Gold Coast
Friday 9 June – The Zoo, Brisbane
Saturday 10 June – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle
Sunday 11 June – Imperial Hotel, Sydney
Thursday 15 June – Enigma, Adelaide
Friday 16 June – The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Saturday 17 June – The Corner, Melbourne
Tickets are on sale now via clownsband.com
** special thanks to the band for the Heywood Jablowmi door spot 🙂 for a mate