King Parrot + Swidgen + Wolfpack
Sooki Lounge, Belgrave
16th September, 2016
Review and pictures by: Kiel Egging
It’s fascinating how a short tour in cities often left off a thrash band’s touring map can be the catalyst to return to a venue you haven’t frequented in more than a decade. But that’s exactly how Melbourne thrash kings King Parrot roll; they decided to warm up for their upcoming European tour with a handful of shows, prompting me to chug up Burwood Highway to Belgrave’s Sooki Lounge, and watch them and their support acts unleash their fury and shake the sleepy hills to their foundations.
Melbourne trio Wolfpack started the night with their melodic and punky/thrashy rock and constantly told us how happy they were to be here and they were a not-for-profit band. Their gratitude and good spirits (oh, and playing skills too) won over those who turned up early, as they did some strong renditions of tracks from their album Seen Not Heard, including Music Is Sport, Toxic Times and Screaming Queens.
Every time I go see King Parrot live, they always seem to have a killer act playing before them – and Swidgen were no different. Bringing a thunderous amount of sludge, the boys had a crew of punters headbanging along to every crunchy riff, breakdown and howl from frontman Sammy P Crawford. Their set contained a healthy selection of tracks from their latest EP Doghouse, including the title track, Destructive, Road Trip and the funky Toro to spice things up a bit.
Sooki Lounge is a far more delicate, grandoise venue these days compared with its past incarnation as the dingy, run-down Ruby’s Lounge. Trying telling that to King Parrot though, and their fans who started fight circles and an hour of sweaty antics from the second the opening bars of Silly Ol’ Mate rang out.
Vocalist Matt Young was again at his crazy, compelling best, hurling bottles of water at everyone and even inviting a couple of punters in for a group hug and ‘communal shower’ between songs, which bass player Slatts got a little excited over. The band piled out tracks from their albums Bite Your Head Off and Dead Set around the watery fun, and also road-tested two ferocious new songs, Entrapment and Now It Stokes Frenzy midway through the set. The band then enlisted punters to sing a jolly Happy Birthday to Melbourne metal identity Dave Poodle and take him for a celebratory crowd surf during Dead End Friends.
And to ensure they well and truly left their mark on Sooki Lounge, Youngy then co-coordinated the crowd into a wall of death as they pumped out their final song Psychotherapy. It’s a fitting finish to a gig that shows why King Parrot remain a compelling, must-see live act for fans of any rock genre – not just for their slammin’ tunes and antics, but because they know how to turn it on anywhere, any time, even in sleepy ol’ Belgrave.