Live Review: The Kills, Cable Ties

24 July 2016 | 2:25 pm | Dearna Mulvaney

"The four of them stand centrestage, arms over shoulders, and bow to a symphony of cheers."

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It’s just after 8.30pm, with people still pouring into the Forum, when Cable Ties’ vocalist Jenny McKechnie takes to the mic. “We’re Cable Ties,” she says, “and before we start I’d like to acknowledge and recognise the Wurundjeri people as the traditional owners of this land.”

They launch into Cut Me Down. They give the waiting crowd of a huge dose of in-your-face post-punk, garage-rock. This Melbourne trio is at ease on stage. They stand close together like they’re used to the small stages of Melbourne’s bars and pubs. McKechnie’s performance is electric; her vocals have the attitude of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and the Aussie drawl of Courtney Barnett. The trio creates a huge wall of sound that echoes around the theatre. People nod their heads and dance along. Their set wraps up in a whirlwind of shouted vocals, pounding bass, screeching guitar and driving drums.

The sold out crowd becomes deafening when the stage lights finally go down again bringing alternative-rock duo The Kills on stage, with their two touring band mates. Alison Mosshart stalks up and down to the beginning of No Wow. Her hair looks pink under the glow of the red stage lights. No Wow bleeds into other classic Kills tracks U.R.A Fever and Kissy Kissy.

Mosshart is captivating. She’s in constant motion — twirling, headbanging, dancing — even when playing guitar, at a mic stand or behind two floor toms. During the final line of Heart Is A Beating Drum, the instrumentation stops and she chokes out “I’ve a heart of drum.” With the final note the lights turn off and she falls to her knees.

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The crowd loves everything this duo has to offer. Diehard fans start screaming at the opening few notes of each track, their excitement palpable and most certainly audible.  They don’t care when Mosshart plays Black Balloon out of time and has to start again or when Jamie Hince fumbles through the beginning of Baby Says or that his solo sounds off-key. Their set is a mix of old and new — Siberian Nights, Doing It To Death, That Love, Fried My Little Brains, Monkey 23 and Future Starts Slow

“Thank you, thank you so much. You’ve been wonderful,” Mosshart, says a smile on her face during the final moments of Sour Cherry. Hince echoes her sentiment, saying thank you and giving the audience a kiss. The four of them stand centrestage, arms over shoulders, and bow to a symphony of cheers.