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King Parrot Live @ Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne 25/07/14

Photos: Michelle Bateman

For the last 12-18 months, there’s one band who have been on the lips of even the most occasional and speculative fans of local, upcoming grind and thrash metal.  You know, the one with those funny videos featuring the old man craving some ‘bonnox’, who also did that crazy 20 minute set while you waited for Mastadon at Soundwave Melbourne earlier this year.

Heck, I’m happy to admit I’m one of those fans just starting explore more of the local metal scene.  So, with this curiosity (and memories of the positive previous experiences detailed earlier) I rolled in to Ding Ding Lounge to get a dose of Melbourne’s own ex-Heavy cover boys King Parrot, in their last hometown show before a tilt at the U.S. market.

Upon arrival, there’s not much room to move as fellow Melbournians Desecrator unleash their ferocious blend of thrash.  Frontman Riley Strong channelled his inner James Hetfield and oozed stage presence, piling out some thunderous riffs and classic poses with lead guitarist Scott Anning.  The crowd clearly liked what they saw, and Strong showed his appreciation by declaring Melbourne “the Capital of Australian Metal” prior to brutal closer ‘Destroying God’s Work’.

But if Desecrator owned the room, King Parrot repossessed the joint and tore it to shreds.  From the opening bars of ‘The Stench Of Hardcore Pub Trash’ through to the final notes of ‘Silly Ol’ Mate’, the Ding Dong dancefloor was close to a warzone.  Barely a couple of seconds passed where there wasn’t a fight circle, crowd surf, fist pump or mass headbang as the band tore through almost every track from their thunderous album Bite Your Head Off.  They also treated us to new track Hell Comes Your Way – an apt description of what the atmosphere in the room would have been like for the most timid of fans.

Part of the reason why the crowd was whipped into such a frenzy was frontman Matt Young’s off-the-wall antics.  From screaming infront of a camera one second, splattering water everywhere or summoning everyone to destroy the living shit out of him in the middle of a wall of death, the dude was a loose cannon.  His charm with the punters got a ringing endorsement when he eventually summoned a surfer-look-alike to get amongst the action on the floor… seconds later he was being tossed around the room.

You just had to look at the dashes of blood splattered on Youngy’s back to see how little King Parrot left of themselves on stage. Good luck in the States gents, but please don’t stay away for ages – far too many people want to re-live Friday night’s glorious madness again before too long.

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