Live Review: The Bennies, Clowns, Axe Girl, Grim Rhythm

27 June 2016 | 4:08 pm | Clinton Hatfield

"The sea of absolute nutcases surges as inflatable animals and beach balls bounce through the packed room."

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Grim Rhythm, the local support act, start the show off with a grinding instrumental display. As the first song comes to a close, part of the drum kit flies across the stage — apparently it's no good. As a replacement is sourced, the guitars keep our feet tapping and before long the band are back to what they do best: riffs.

Next to step out are Perth four-piece Axe Girl, who open with Beach (Take Off Your Clothes). Addison Axe's stage presence is perfectly suited to this tour and her leopard print Lycra pants are fitting.

It's such a rare thing to see so much energy come from one man, but Clowns frontman Stevie Williams meets all expectations and simply shatters the minds of first-timers. Swallow Your Dreams immediately gets the extremely excited fans off their arses. Crowdsurfers now sail towards the stage as Human Error erupts. Without warning, Williams flies off the stage to land on the waiting hands of his adoring fans. The entire set is filled with truly mental antics. At one point, during Powders, Williams is seen at least six feet in the air after launching off the drum kit. Figure It Out and Dead In The Suburbs showcase a savage voice.

A short break and a hell of a lot of chanting brings out The Bennies. The boys kick off with Heavy Reggae, Detroit Rock Ciggies and What's Your Fuckin' Problem? High leg kicks in tight red pants seem to speak to this crowd in a way that only Anty Horgan can and the band continue the show with Heavy Disco. The sea of absolute nutcases surges as inflatable animals and beach balls bounce through the packed room. Highrider gets everyone singing in unison with bass wizard Craig Selak and an almost ever-present air-horn sample just refuses to get old. As a yellow inflatable giraffe whizzes past our heads, a trombonist joins The Bennies on stage. "This song is about smoking that sweet, sweet Mary Jane," Horgan announces. Somehow a joint makes its way to the stage and is passed around between the lads. A member of Axe Girl then joins everyone up there and the collective mob sing him Happy Birthday as he sculls a beer.

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From start to finish, The Bennies just make it feel like a party. Horgan yells at everyone, "This song is about as dumb as a shoe!" as they begin to play My Bike. After "I'm gonna ride my bike!", every mouth in the room screams back "Wherever I fucking like!" The man behind TISM, Damian Cowell joins The Bennies on stage for a cover. Horgan says, "I can't believe this is about to happen!" before (He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River smashes out of the PA and the atmosphere in the room is simply electric. With two songs left, Horgan instructs everyone to high-five the person next to them as Party Machine cracks everyone's minds like dropped eggs. There are now about 15 people up there on stage! It's hilarious mayhem and The Bennies close the show with a very cool rendition of O Brother, Where Art Thou? They smash it. The smiling moshpit disperses, sweaty and satisfied.