2016.06.17 - The West Australian

The West Australian

Date: 17th June 2016
Author: Harvey Rae
Gig Review


Archived from: https://au.news.yahoo.com/...

Oz-punk heroes live it up

The Living End

4 stars

Astor Theatre

It was a West End Riot at the Astor Theatre on Thursday as Melbourne’s The Living End proved they’ve still got it.

The near-capacity crowd was treated to a night of top-shelf Aussie rawk as first Melbourne punks the 131’s kicked off proceedings then Adelaide outsider rock band Bad//Dreems won over the fast-filling room.

The latter, part Eddy Current Suppression Ring, part Drones and part pub-rock, started slowly but built to a menacing back half as mulletted singer Ben Marwe prowled the stage in an unhinged fashion during modern Oz classic Bogan Pride, and left us “bleeding on the ground” on closer, Cuffed and Collared.

It’s cliche to call The Living End a well-oiled machine, particularly given their psychobilly roots, but the shoe fits.

Opening with new track Monkey, they aired five tracks from latest record Shift. Death featured a wicked guitar solo from frontman Chris Cheney and the anthemic recent single Keep on Running was set to strings on a backing track.

That might have seemed unusual at a Living End show, but for the most part it was business as usual. Roll On came second track in, while the epic All Torn Down did just that, and was cause for a mass singalong.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was they didn’t play more of the punk numbers from Shift – One Step and Up the Junction in particular sound like they were made for the stage.

They also traded a few hits (Who’s Gonna Save Us?, Wake Up, Save the Day) for deep cuts, likely inspired by revisiting hidden gems from their back catalogue. Hold Up, from 2003’s Modern Artillery, worked well; Carry Me Home, closing the night, was a bit of an anticlimax.

The real finale was second last song West End Riot, which along with Prisoner of Society and Second Solution vied for song of the night honours, and included Cheney shredding atop Scott Owen’s double bass. It never gets old.

Prisoner of Society was the predictable winner and arguably the best Australian punk song of the past 20 years. Hearing the crowd shout “I’m a brat, and I know everything and I talk back!” still sends shivers.

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