Wall of Sound presents: Punknstuf!
Four5Nine, Perth WA
September 22nd, 2017
Feat. The Bob Gordons, Two For Flinching, Nankasi, Shaus and Grant Larseny
I sat alone in a small booth with my first schooner for the better part of an hour, before the doors at Four5Nine were to open at 8pm for the first ever Punknstuf. Painted on the wall of my little cubicle was a giant pink squid. I thought the image appropriate; I had failed to bring a plus one, and it seemed I was to linger like an awkward squid for the duration of the evening.
Grant Larseny opened the night, and set a standard for the bands to follow. The sound he made from his classic Fender Strat and small vox amp, was clear and punchy. Much like most of his lyrics: “I’m a pretty good bloke, but a pretty shit friend”—from his track Pretty Good Bloke—for instance. His reception proved this statement otherwise, as most of the small crowd that lulled about the stage at this point were mates from the bands on the same bill. The vibes were good, and the night was off to a good start. I had the pleasure of talking to Grant after his set, which made me feel less like the awkward pink squid, seeing the bottom of schooner number two probably helped a bit as well.
When Shaus took to the stage it was like being hit in the face in a way that is somehow a pleasurable experience—Chaka’s ferocity on the drums was a driving force behind Ryan’s wailing, often intricate guitar sounds and Brandon’s well executed, shifting vocals. Stefen brought the low, synthy, bass sounds from what he called a ‘Moog’ (it appeared to be a small keyboard with various dials), together with a pounding low tuned snare, Shaus had a memorable sound that can best be described as ‘intense’. Definitely a band to look out for.
By this point everyone had had a few tins and between sets choruses of laughter became the ambient sound. The crowd was still small, but it was a lively one and Nankasi did well to keep the movers moving. “This is gonna’ get weird” stated vocalist Stagg, wielding an export can, before screaming into their opening track 60/40. I couldn’t find anything weird about Nankasi’s set, but I will say that it was fucking cool. It was heavy, fast and melodic with dynamic pauses in all the right places, leaving room for Luke to fill in on the skins. They closed their set with the thumping track Blackout, and the chant “Lights out, blackout” saw some raised fists from a few of the punters down the front. Nankasi = Steak Sauce (see Urban Dictionary).
By the time Two For Flinching hit the stage, people were spilling a bit more beer, and from outside the venue one might have thought the place was packed. Matt Hatton (guitar/vocals) and Leigh Stearne (bass/backing vocals) were feeding off the crowd and delivering some quality banter between songs, Stearne at one point even held what seemed to be a sort of erection auction. “Do we have any erections?” he points at a couple of hands that go up, “one, two…”. Hatton chimed in with a “Three? Can we get three?” before getting a raised hand from a nice lady down the front. The auction was after Super, so I probably should have stuck a hand up myself. TFF have an airtight 90’s style punk sound that got everyone’s head moving. Hatton even took a stroll off stage as he moshed away with his guitar, copping a headlock from Horse of The Bob Gordons. They had fun up there, and it was contagious. Solid entertainment from solid musicians.
While one of The Bob Gordons’ three guitarist/vocalist’s Horse is off “taking a wee”, a mate of theirs—Peter Hornsby from local Perth Indie-Rock band The Plastic Attraction—jumped up for an impromptu whack at what I could only presume was a BG’s song he was familiar with. Upon Horse’s return and a few comments about his interaction in the urinal regarding a fur coat, the BG’s ripped straight into Stop Hate; a track with fast, prominent lead parts and it set the tone for the rest of their set. All the while General Barker behind the kit single-stroke rolled with absolute precision. Drawer full of porn and Uncle Buck followed, the guys not missing a single beat. I think it was the track Wasted that got me genuinely stoked on The BG’s. The question and answer vocals/chants between Tom, Horse and Bob were executed faultlessly. Grant Larseny joined the BG’s for White Rabbot and showed a side of his vocals we hadn’t seen yet, and did well at that. For a band that takes the piss a bit and enjoys a laugh on stage, they certainly let their professionalism shine through in their music. There’s nothing better than seeing a band that has their shit together.
As the night came to a close, everyone was in high spirits. I happily chatted to a few of the band members, all of who stayed humble and open to chatting about music and the Perth scene. The turnout wasn’t the biggest, but the show was huge. And this squid is glad that he had been there. Here’s to hoping Punknstuf becomes a regular thing. Cheers for that beer Pete.
Review by Rory McDonald
Two For Flinching
The Bob Gordons