Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide SA
February 8th, 2022
“Don’t worry about fitting in – it’s completely over-rated.” Nicole Walker.
If there was a theme required for this entire tour, the overhead quote from the award winning English Actress would be so fitting, that it should more-than-likely be on the poster. To clarify, although these acts don’t necessarily subscribe to the “punk rock” genre, their aesthetic is undoubtedly “punk”. They perform the music they have composed and enjoy without following trends, they break the rules of fitting in, avoid convention and most importantly, they inspire many to follow their lead and embrace their message. Even an icon of the movement and that “sound” of rock’n’roll Henry Rollins told The New York Times that punk rock was an: “Immediate dismissal of intimidation” and from what this writer experienced at the event, this philosophy was undoubtedly ‘Catching Fire’.
Continuing on the topic of unconventional, New Zealand’s progressive folk marvel Lontalius had an rather difficult role of opening the night’s escapade and did so with such charming grace, it was enchanting. The one man outfit (official name: Eddie Johnston) radiated a sound that was some parts Into It. Over It. with a swirl of Hozier and a dash of The Paper Kites to create one of the most soul-warming and soothing cocktails created. This needed to be cherished sip-by-sip or in Mr Johnston’s case, song-by-song. Wistfully, this allurement was not entirely felt by the growing audience – Eddie’s performance became almost background noise to numerous attendees at times; however, it did not dishearten this geek-chic muso and his looping guitar sounds, divine serenades, electronic flourishes and quirky sense of humour. ‘It’s Not Love’ and ‘Carousel’ were highlights, but essentially a show of his remarkable talent and nature needs to be in an intimate venue, not on a stage the size of Russell Crowe’s master bedroom. As stated before, EJ was not once intimidated and undoubtedly acquired some new fans from this bold venture; please return as soon as the touring schedule allows Lontalius, Adelaide’s venue The Grace Emily will feel like home.
Similar to an uncanny magicians trick, the crowd tripled in size within moments. The dream-like rapturous aura within the walls of Lion Arts had diminished to dust; a tension was building rapidly. It wasn’t “punk rock”, but every punk was ready to rock and when the musicians that enhanced Joseph Edward Mulherin’s genre smashing sound took to the stage, Ruiner had a new definition – Nothing,Nowhere was more than Something,Everywhere!
‘CYAN1DE’ kicked off the rampage and if there was a track to introduce new listeners to Mr Mulherin‘s fusion, this would be arguably it. Emotional hip hop with a melodic metalcore backing at times and post hardcore instruction pushing into melodic choruses – perplexed? Perhaps imagine Hyro Da Hero’s debut album being re-recorded with Holding Absence as a major contributor and for further enhancement, Will Putney was asked to put a metalcore spin on it all. By the way, this is just one song.
This is that referred to “punk” element, there isn’t a “rule book” for Nothing,Nowhere and that is Joseph’s refreshing approach and talent, he dismisses the norm. ‘Pretend’ exhibited an early Childish Gambino show-piece with a Boys Like Girls hook, ‘Nightmare’ would have 3OH!3 probably starstruck – the moshcore moment in the live setting was an inspiring addition. ‘Pieces Of You’ was the song Simple Plan forgot to write and ‘Fake Friend’ enriched that notion with a very modern polish. ‘Buck’ begged for an Owl City nod of approval which was thankfully outshone (literally) by ‘Clarity in Kerosene’; a nice touch included the audience lighting up the venue with their mobile phones.
With a forthcoming album being released next month entitled: Void Eternal, Nothing,Nowhere featured a track from it co-written with Senses Fail’s commander Buddy Nielsen called ‘M1SERY_SYNDROME’. Thankfully, its heavier moments would Pull Thorns From Your Heart somewhat metaphorically and it was very welcomed on this night. ‘Death’ capitalised on the metal fusion aspect, as if Apex Twin witnessed Hacktivist and decided to make it brilliantly uglier; then suddenly, cut, darkness, the show is over.
The impatient and large crowd then chanted: “One More Song” repeatedly.
Joseph Edward Mulherin responded: “Fuck it, let’s do one more”.
Understandably the chaos ensued, this was Nothing,Nowhere’s premiere tour of Australia. So how to describe this debut of the “genre mashing” outfit live? While this might not be everyone’s: ‘Love Or Chemistry’, like it or not Nothing,Nowhere is ‘Catching Fire’ and he’s not worried about fitting in, nor are his admirers.
Are you intimidated?