Live Review: Liars

12 June 2014 | 12:31 pm | Bryget Chrisfield

The Liars live experience is so much more than a mere gig – it’s an exorcism.

Liars

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There is an abundance of giant, hat-wearing blokes in attendance. Guarding their spots front and centre, Liars überfans interpret the neon wool theme from the band's latest Mess album cover art via their outfits. While the curtains are draw back, the Liars intro borders on terrifying: horror movie soundtrack-style. Projections on draped white curtains make us feel as if we're in a DIY warehouse party. Frontman Angus Andrew is a focus-pulling machine in his all-white get-up plus multi-coloured knitted balaclava with excess wool beard. His piercing blue eyes peek through straggly blonde hair, which we view through the balaclava eye hole. If you need local references, Liars could be TISM meets The Presets.    
Mask Maker barges in all menacing at song two: “Eat my face off!” And that sharp, mechanical, dog bark sound is enough to blow your face off! Toward the end of this song, Andrew spins his balaclava around so the wool beard becomes a mullet and we can now see his mouth. He then head-bangs so ferociously that he loses his headwear altogether leading into the band's next song. There's something Nick Rhodes genius about Aaron Hemphill's fluttering synth lines and you'd swear the live drumming of Julian Gross was automated. Gross has lopped off his long locks and now adopts the hairstyle of a banker (it'll grow).
Suddenly, one of Liars' front-row diehards comes hurtling through the crowd, his neon wool crown ravelling and unravelling – like a moving installation. Andrew does love rhythmically shaking his shaggy, Kurt Cobain-esque barnet left and right. And when he eventually draws his hair to the side to ogle audience members, his presence is powerful as he possesses the mic. Mess On A Mission absolutely devastates with its playful Game Boy bleeps and rallying chorus. Andrew spits out the four-times repeated, “Facts are facts and fiction's fiction”, conclusion with maximum vitriol, now sporting a tangled wool scarf probably offered up from the nosebleed section. In terms of banter, Andrew utters a coupla scattered “Thank you”s throughout the evening. There's some eerie, skeleton-clown imagery for the coulrophobics and an enthusiastic moshpit pogos violently down front. Andrew accepts some signs fans have made and then scrunches and stuffs the pieces of paper down the front of his white T-shirt. Closer Broken Witch bristles with sinister incantation: “I/I am the boy/She/She is the girl/He/He is the bear/We…” – it's a rampaging track that leaves us rocking and nursing our psychological wounds.  
The Liars live experience is so much more than a mere gig – it's an exorcism. If the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow were filled with Walter White's pharmaceutical grade blue meth, Liars might just have discovered the stash. It's always a good sign when the merch sells out.