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Proudly hailing from the Brisbane suburb of Mansfield, Violent Soho have paraded mercilessly through various Melbourne live music establishments in the lead up to their much-lauded new album, Hungry Ghost, and subsequent album tour. Tonight’s sold out show at the Corner Hotel is no doubt the largest of the lot. With songs like Silverchair’s Freak and Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name bursting over the PA with the volume turned up to eleven, the packed house was ready for action.
Whilst the grunge scene had all but disappeared by the mid-90s, Brisbane clearly didn’t get the memo. Nor did the 800 or so folks that managed to snap up tickets before the ‘House Full’ sign went up. And thank Christ they didn’t.
From the opening chords of Dope Calypso, the audience were a heaving, throbbing, sweaty, bouncy mess. Luke Boerdam‘s piercing vocals blitzed perfectly through the distortion like a hot knife through butter, whilst James Tidwell and Luke Henery, on guitar and bass respectively, tore through windmills with their flowing locks at every available moment. There was no let-up from the crowd either, with bodies flung across the pit, from crowd-surfers to stage divers and those merely caught up in the groundswell.
“Feel free to throw on stage anything illegal you may have in your possession, or leave it at our merch desk,” the band cheekily requested between songs, before continuing their assault with Lowbrow and Neighbour Neighbour. Hungry Ghost has been getting good airtime, with Saramona Said, OK Cathedral and lead single In The Aisle lapped up by the crowd, who were feasting on everything thrown at them.
Older material wasn’t forgotten either, with Muscle Junkie and its “F**k You! F**k You! I can’t trust you!” refrain the subject of hearty audience participation. Jesus Stole My Girlfriend was dedicated in jest to Christian singing group Hillsong, in what was perhaps their signature grunge moment in between moments of punk-style twang.
Hungry Ghost highlight Covered In Chrome was as brilliant as could possibly be imagined, with Boerdam’s screams of “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” met by a sea of flying arms and legs from the pulsating pit. The onslaught of Tinderbox immediately followed, closing out the show. The flurry of stage divers and crowd-surfers was something to behold.
As the sweat-covered crowd headed to the front bar where I OH YOU DJs would be joined by none other than Violent Soho on the decks until the wee hours, it was clear parties like this are few and far between, and this was one to remember.
(Photo by Carbie Warbie)