dB Magazine

The Living End/Gyroscope/Kisschasy

Author: Matt Vesely

Thebarton Theatre
Wed 17 May

You know what’s bizarre? The fact that some people find those hairless cats cute. You know what else’s bizarre? The feeling I got when watching Kisschasy open up the show tonight. Despite the fact I really like their Weezer-influenced form of pop-punk, and despite the fact that their set tonight was tight and energetically performed, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was back at my year 5 disco. Maybe it was frontman Darren Cordeux’s pink hair; maybe it was the fact that tonight’s set lacked the edginess of previous Kisschasy shows; or maybe, maybe, it was the fact that I was surrounded by screaming teenage girls going “do-do and whoa-oh!” Go figure.

Then things changed. Things got edgier, things got more crowded. It doesn’t matter how many times I see them – every time I catch a Gyroscope show, I love them just that little bit more. Despite Daniel Sanders’ broken arm, the Perth punk-rockers put on a hell of a show, yet again. If you haven’t seen Gyroscope play live before, go as soon as you can. And if you have seen Gyroscope play…then go again. Tonight their frenetic set was book-ended by classics Doctor Doctor and Safe Forever, but focused mainly on latest record ‘Are You Involved?’ – and with good reason; the longer the record’s been out, the tighter the new, more complex songs become – Dream Vs Scream being the highlight of the ‘Scope’s set tonight.

If you’re trying to impress this reviewer (which I’m sure was all that was on Chris Cheney’s mind tonight), then you’re automatically in trouble when you’re following Gyroscope. But The Living End succeeded. The floorboards trembled as the sold out crowd gave it all they had, from the barrier to the stands. Opening with What’s On Your Radio and backed by a frenetic animated backdrop, Melbourne’s finest blasted their way through an epic two-hour set. Nobody can accuse this punk band of lacking musical talent – Cheney’s guitar playing is mesmerising, and the rhythm section of double-bass player Scott Owen and drummer Andy Strachan drove every song straight into the back of every punter’s skull. It was oldies like Prisoner Of Society and a thumping medley of first CD-EP ‘Hellbound’ that really got the crowd moving, but songs from this year’s ‘State Of Emergency’, given a touch of class by the presence of the horn section from Hunters & Collectors, were equally impressive. Obscure and sprawling The Room seemed an odd choice for the encore – the crowd was just too exhausted by then to take the long-player in. But, by rounding things off with West End Riot, The Living End ensured that every all-ages concert-goer in the room left with a smile on their face.