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Live Review: La Bastard, The Peep Tempel

29 June 2012 | 2:01 pm | Esther Rivers

Ask The Peep Tempel no questions and they'll tell you no lies. The last time we were in front of this band, bodies flying around and hands in the air, frontman Blake Scott grabbed the mic and looked down at us, screaming “Don't FUCKING point at me!” Tonight is no exception, as Scott amuses with his blazing skill and whiplash tongue. (Or Is it whiplash skill and blazing tongue?) “This is our next song and if you don't like it… you must be deaf.” Scott limbers up, stretching his hands above his head, regaling us with a story that somehow stems from one of them having lamingtons backstage (the good ones with jam in the middle) to a “relationship” he had with Gina Rinehart as a teenage boy.

Thundering into Collusion, Scott's clever lyrics and vocal delivery create a potent ambience amidst the forceful stride of their power-punk songs, captivating our focus (or are we just too scared to look away?). New single Mister Lester Moore achieves new manic appeal before they end the show with crowd favourite Thank You Machiavelli. It seems word of this band has spread quicker than Scott's tongue, for awkward 18-year-old girls gaze adoringly at him as he stands at the front of the stage, pulling faces as he plays and mocking us all.

La Bastard seems to be the name on everyone's lips. Their mash-up of Hawaiian-themed, go-go dancing, cabaret-style rock might seem a little much, but the blend of genres somehow rattles the right cage. Singer Anna Lienhop appears nervous at first, but soon starts to rip into the songs with the bite of a scorned soul goddess, the other band members looking on with knowing smiles. Lienhop wails, yet it's guitarist Ben Murphy that truly steals the show, flying from the front of the stage to land on his knees in the crowd.

“What are you guys doing?” Lienhop asks a young couple in front of the stage, who are engaged in an impenetrable snogfest. “Give them a break,” laughs Murphy, but, looking around, there seems to be a hefty amount of people bumping and grinding. As Lienhop immerses herself in the crowd to dance about, our faces are suddenly accosted with her bosom, forcing us to shimmy in response. Credited for being a band of heightened chaos and semi-destructive rock'n'roll tendencies, we hang in the balance to see if La Bastard will live up to their reputation. Hula dancers, stage antics and sexy rockabilly ballads are good entertainment; sans the debatable 'call and response' onstage banter, La Bastard deliver.

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