Violent Soho have such an awesome buzz around them, so it’s no wonder that this Hungry Ghost album preview show sold out. Supported by one of Melbourne’s fave’s Damn Terran, fans have been psyched for this gig since the announcement!
I hadn’t been to The Liberty Social before and it was kind of crazy; walking down a flight of stairs off Flinders Lane and into a room that was oozing smoke. Lasers pierced out through the atmosphere from the stage and neon lights hung portrait style in a cage to the side. I felt like I was in some sort of Pump Up The Volume ‘90s cult movie and Christian Slater was going to walk in at any moment.
Damn Terran hit the stage with an intensity and power I haven’t seen from them before. Opening for Violent Soho is something you have to grab by the balls and they tore them right off. Lachlan Ewbank’s scowling vocals are amongst the best out there and his guitar work really wrings your sense’s neck. Along with Ewbank is his brother Leigh (drums) and Ali Edmonds (bass), and they’re one hell of a tight band. With feverish Fugazi intent they’re uncompromising and relentless. At times Redmond’s vocals also add an ethereal quality not to be missed with the song Rebels also being one of the stand outs. This is by far the best I have heard them and props also have to go out to their sound guy. I was ready to leave by the time they finished their set. How can anyone follow that? Definitely a hard set to follow.
The room was jam packed by the time Violent Soho started and here’s where the coolness of the venue runs head first into a brick wall. The stage is so low that unless you’re super tall you can’t really see anything. Vertically challenged punters were caught staring into the backs of the other sardines jammed into the room. It can kill the enjoyment of seeing a band no matter how good they are. It seemed that Damn Terran might have been too good for the carry over champions but a few songs in the switch was flicked; things for Violent Soho went from good to blowing the roof off the joint, which is no easy feat considering we were in a basement!
They had the entire room in their hands, people were jumping around like crazy and the energy in the room was amazing! Smiles on faces were so wide they were knocking over the person next to them. I haven’t seen a room go so nuts in a long long time. By the end of the set people were on the speakers, swinging from pipes on the ceiling, crowd surfing and completely losing their shit. The line between band and crowd kept getting smaller and smaller until it completely vanished and people were on the stage, photographers were squeezing in everywhere to try and capture what those that weren’t there just wouldn’t believe. The buzz that follows the band had exploded.
Their sound is hard to define, mix some Magic Dirt with Sonic Youth and Nirvana, then throw in some poppy punk elements but that’s not right either. They’ve got a ferocity and punk edge yet they’re songs are so well crafted and catchy enough that anyone could walk into the room hearing them for the first time and instantly get hooked. I asked a friend what he thought they sounded like and he said “old Smashing Pumpkins and themselves”. Violent Soho have come a long way since they formed in 2004 but are clearly still on their way up and it’s great to see. A band worthy of all the attention they get.
The entire band of Luke Boerdam (guitar, vocals), James Tidswell (guitar, vocals), Luke Henery (bass) and Michael Richards (drums) were impressive and didn’t miss a beat. Major shout outs have to go to Richards for beating the hell out of his kit and Tidswell for confusing me for one of the guys out of the A&E TV series Duck Dynasty with the added help of his camo full brim hat.
Violent Soho’s Hungry Ghost released on September 6 through I OH YOU and available for pre-order / order HERE.