Touching down after a banner year, Gold Coast prog rockers Chelsea Rockwells have released their …
VIOLENT SOHO + Palms & Budd – 22 October, 2015 – The Zoo, Brisbane
How do you follow up that album?
Most bands don’t have a South of Heaven in them after a Reign in Blood, and that can make even the most steadfast fan at least a little twitchy. Or at least one would think. A couple of weeks after Violent Soho dropped Like Soda, their first effort post-breakthrough hit Hungry Ghost, and they’re touring the thing with a sold out run of smaller east coast shows. People But outside of a sold the fuck out Violent Soho show in their hometown, nobody’s really worried about how the four-piece are going to follow up Hungry Ghost. In fact, the most we encounter is cautious optimism from the punters we speak to.
Monty and Daniel:
“Fuck man, I loved Hungry Ghost. I hope they can make another album that good.”
“Yeah, I hope so. But I’m a cynical man so I’m going to say they’re going to do something almost as good. It might not get there. But the only reason I’m saying they might not is because, if they do… there ain’t no disappointment there.”
“He’s cynical… So he’s either pleasantly surprised, or he’s right”
“Bands are capable of actual living up to what they’ve put out before. And I think Violent Soho are one of those bands.”
“I think they’ve put out another album as good as Hungry Ghost before so they’re capable of doing it again. They’ve just kept it going, they’re both different but excellent.”
“Like Soda was good so yeah, I reckon so. When I heard Like Soda, I was like ‘I’ve definitely heard this before’. It’s classic them.”
(Better Call) Saul:
“I’m not sure if they can followup Hungry Ghost, but I’ve enjoyed Like Soda though. So I reckon there’s potential. It’ll be hard to top, but it could happen.”
If you thought dudes were optimistic about shit outside, they’re not. That calming effect of nicotine is working like a geedee charm because inside people are just about slam dancing to the Weezer songs playing over the p.a. in between bands. The intensity is so severe, that when Brisbane institution Budd kicks things off the room is practically full. Kyuss by the way of Rollerball, the overdriven groove has the rockdogs rocking pretty good.
In between Budd and Violent Soho, who can hesh pretty good even if they only do so sparingly, are Palms. They’re are an outlier, what with being unabashedly indie. But it’s summer, or at least it is in the Zoo which historically is hot as Satan’s butthole the moment more than three people congregate in front of the stage. Palms’ lightweight summery tunes are finding their mark on the bros up the front in their Violent Soho singlets.
The level of dedication in this room to Violent Soho is verging upon religious fervour.
Watching Violent Soho opening with obligatory newbie Like Soda is a revelation. People are singing along. The song’s only been out for two goddamn weeks and people are singing along! To all of it. Sometimes I blank out on my girlfriend’s name. And we’ve been living together for a year. The level of dedication in this room to Violent Soho is verging upon religious fervour.
They can do no wrong in the eyes of tonight’s crowd. A lot of that has to do with the way Violent Soho present their show tonight. This small run could well be a thrown together affair where the dudes warm themselves up for much bigger things to come, but they’ve come correct, in the parlance of Busta Rhymes.
As they bang out grungey hessian rock gold with Neighbour, Neighbour, Dope Calypso and even stuff from their unreleased new album, you could get caught up in the tunes and forget to notice all the other shit going. From a lighting show that adds something to proceedings (when does that happen?) to a mix that allows Luke Boerdam’s angsty vocal lines to hit you right in the chest, this professionalism separates Violent Soho from the run-of-the-mill Gen X slacker worship band.
As the set continues on, and James Tidswell wins over the crowd with the kind of enthusiastic everyman banter he’s learnt from Smith Street Band’s Wil Wagner, Soho strike gold with their renditions of Saramona Said and Covered in Chrome. Yes indeed, hell fuck yeah… Though it might be time for jock assholes to retire the little mantra they picked up after they soured on YOLO.
While we have a few more months to wait until we can see what statement the dudes make in the wake of their massive Hungry Ghost success. Everyone in the Zoo tonight is feasting on what that ravenous ghost’s serving for brunch. Smear me in ectoplasm and light my fire, mondo rockers. I love you long time.
VIOLENT SOHO PHOTO GALLERY by MATT WARRELL