"Homme and co once again prove that rock'n'roll ain’t dead."
It’s 2018, and being a viral sensation no longer requires a doctors visit. Off the back of their viral YouTube hit song Smoko, Gold Coast punk trio The Chats are certainly going places, with a number of regional tours and international supports under their belts, tonight’s tour is certainly their biggest to date.
There is nothing tongue in cheek here, with songs about an unnamed band member having chlamydia, counter meals at the pub and to a roaring response, the three chord yell of Smoko.
Keeping it short and sweet, also having no more songs left, they finished off with The Ballad Of Billy Backwash, a little ditty about a “scummy bloke who frequents the traino back home”.
Somewhat polarising to begin, bluesman CW Stoneking soon had the crowd toe tapping to that Louisiana sound. Back-up vocalists in their shimmery, sequinned dress’s complemented Stoneking’s Americana accent and jangly guitars. Plodding bass lines and a darn tootin horn section, it was hard not to groove along. The voodoo swing of The Zombie and Jungle Lullaby brought that American south via Australia twang.
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The one-two punch of Feet Don’t Fail Me lead the charge from latest release Villains. Taking a moment to tell punters to “take care of each other” is somewhat ironic considering the incident in which frontman Homme kicked a photographer, largely forgiven or forgotten judging by the applause, nonetheless it appears all photographers left the pit unharmed.
Dedicating the next song to his “Melbourne gal” (wife Brodie Dalle), The Way You Used To Do is a rollicking affair, designed to get you dancing, it succeeds in every way.
No matter what part of the set it’s played, No One Knows is certain to get the pit nice and sweaty, with a smashing drum solo from Jon Theodore thrown in the mix, the crowd screaming for more.
A slew of cuts from recent albums, My God Is The Sun, The Evil Has Landed and to celebrate bassist Mikey Shuman’s happy (un)birthday, the non conforming celebration song Domesticated Animals.
Also noted, Troy Van Leeuwen “really fucking loves koalas”.
A soulful rendition of Villains Of Circumstance showcased Homme’s deep baritone vocal range, as well as Van Leeuwen’s skill, skipping between guitar and synth, and that double guitar solo, superb.
Kicking things up to ten with Little Sister, Homme stating “We come from so far and it makes us happy that you have a good time, cos if you didn’t that would suck”, following up with set closer Go With The Flow.
With a back catalogue such as theirs, Queens can do “whatever the fuck we want”, giving the crowd the choice of Make it Wit Chu or Millionaire, ultimately deciding both would be suitable, though these days Homme tends not to scream during the latter.
Closing the two hour set with an extended jam of A Song For The Dead, Homme and co once again prove that rock'n'roll ain’t dead.