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Live Review: OFF!, Velociraptor, Undead Apes

23 January 2013 | 1:27 pm | Dan Condon

"Apparently Keith Morris drank two iced coffees this afternoon and hasn’t had any dinner, a terrible mistake for a 57-year-old diabetic, he tells us."

A very early start means that there's not a great deal of people here for the beginning of the Undead Apes set, but this doesn't dampen their enthusiasm as they smash out their trademark hook-laden punk rock with the kind of force they've been renowned for over the past couple of years. A few newer songs see them in as good a form as ever, but it's hard to resist the charms of Death Can Wait, Ampersand's Turd and Brain Drain early in the set. Lisa from local punk Pastel Blaze gets in on the action, sharing the mic with vocalist/guitarist Simon Graydon on Funeral Home before the band bring it home with Lost In Space and Walking Grudge from their Killed By Deaf LP.

This was always going to be a tough show for Velociraptor and even the most charming of Brisbane bands – not to mention the band who took out the number one slot on this year's 4ZzZ Hot 100 – can win over tonight's crowd. They're in something of a stripped back seven-piece mode and they play at their most shambolic, but the punks aren't buying it. It's a shame, because one gets the feeling if a few more people lightened up a little, they'd respect the fact these are great songs. Hey Suzanne, Riot and Sleep With The Fishes are early highlights and, by this stage, the band have swapped positions on stage a number of times. Four members have a shot at singing out the front – James Boyd's screeching and writhing around probably not endearing the band to the punks all that much – and while the close of Cynthia and In The Springtime is given plenty of spirit from the gents on stage, it's getting no respect from the audience assembled tonight.

Apparently Keith Morris drank two iced coffees this afternoon and hasn't had any dinner, a terrible mistake for a 57-year-old diabetic, he tells us. He has had a shot of insulin though, so he roars through the first part of the set as the band slam out Panic Attack, I Don't Belong and Now I'm Pissed from their First Four EPs and I Got News For You and Poison City from last year's eponymous album.

This is the way an OFF! show goes; a handful of their breakneck songs are slammed out with fury, before Keith Morris takes the chance to rant about whatever he damn well wants to. First up tonight is a discussion about first meeting Kim Salmon at the now-defunct LA hotspot Spaceland, which leads into the nightly dedication to Morris' fallen friend, Gun Club leader Jeffrey Lee Pierce.

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After the band smash out album highlight King Kong Brigade, Morris chats about President Obama and his inauguration, US debt and Robert De Niro's role in Taxi Driver, before the manic Borrow and Bomb. The band do not drop a beat the entire night; bassist Steven McDonald looks to be having the time of his life stepping up to the crowd as he lays into his bass, while guitarist Dimitri Coats is as energetic but remains tucked to the back of the stage to ensure he doesn't miss a note and drummer Mario Rubalcaba just hits harder than anyone should on a night as hot as this.

Wiped Out, Peace In Hermosa, I'm Cracked, Fuck People and Toxic Box smack us around the head before Morris stops briefly to promise they will return on the back of the next album before leaving us with Elimination, Black Thoughts and the glorious driving rock'n'roll of Inside Out. It'd almost be embarrassing that a band whose members are of this age perform with more power and passion than bands with members half their age, but OFF! are so good that a shitty little thing like age just doesn't matter.