Live Review: The Murlocs, Doctopus, Hamjam, Kitchen People

22 April 2015 | 1:04 pm | Richard Moore

"Shirts came off, delirious garage rock peaked, and Adolescence met willing ears."

More The Murlocs More The Murlocs

Corey only knew a few songs by The Murlocs, but was convinced this gig was destined.

“You know, I get up this morning, making some toast, turn on rage and they’ve got the guest programmer right? And the second song she plays is Murlocs’ Adolescence!” For the rest of the line-up, a solid turnout of friends and fans to Four5Nine packed out the bar, already sweaty for popping punkers Kitchen People.

Crammed onto the stage, the ever-expanding and massively incestuous group bobbed behind frontman Jake Suriano as he gurned out cheeky lyrics in his signature punk whine. With every brief pause packed with whoops of “Tom Cahill is a machine!” at their drummer, Kitchen People hurtled on with breakneck surf numbers 666 Weeks and Hissing Dog, ending on downbeat In The Gutter with bassist Vin Buchanan-Simpson tangled in his guitar lead, brandishing a new Bali tattoo, all eyes and fur. “It talks to me!” he yapped, wiggling the muscle.

Hamjam played the venue down with deep bass chill-out from their two-piece, heavy with the phaser and smacking of surf. Mellowing out, they invited Doctopus bassist Stephen Bellair to join them for a cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game, frontman Hamish Rahn mumbling about Bellair’s ‘CHOISE’ jacket, purchased in Bali on a joint holiday. “We took ‘shrooms and went into the mangrove forest… Stephen got naked. Weird place.”

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Between the cover and his own set, Bellair ingested something evil and immediately started to twitch. What followed was an infernal rendition of Doctopus’ set, red lit with guitarist Jeremy Holmes staying with his gaze glued to the back wall as Bellair fixed to the mic, torso bare and dripping sweat: “Hope you’re making the most of this Friday night…” he wheezed between stimmed-out surf rock-outs, “At my place we played The Murlocs’ last record to pieces… shit cunts, but what a record!”

The Murlocs themselves were a sight, with the thermometer climbing and lead Ambrose Kenny-Smith babbling word salad into the mic: “We’re in a space ship for this one. From our new album… from the future. Put a smile on your dial…” Shirts came off, delirious garage rock peaked, and Adolescence met willing ears. “I feel like I’ve aged ten years in ten minutes,” moaned Kenny-Smith, and our Corey barked back, “How old are you?”

“Twelve!” Kenny Smith vomited into a beer glass. The band played on.