The Living End – Albert Hall – 15/9/06

Author: Ryan Cooke

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Back in November 1999 was the last time the Living End came to Tasmania for a headlining show and that also happen to be my first ever gig, so TLE have always had a special place in my heart.

Me and the crew rocked up to the Albert Hall thirty minutes after the doors were meant to open and then waited and hour to enter the building, in which time we missed the whole performance by local supports the Reactions.

We did get to see End Of Fashion though, who were great as always; a lot of people were disappointed with them which I couldn’t understand. I thought their new material was great as was their stage show; only problem was the poor lighting.

After a bit of a wait, the Living End stormed onto the stage and belted out the first track “Till The End” from their album “State Of Emergency”. It was mostly a greatest hits set which was what most people I knew wanted to see.

All the classics including “Second Solution”, “Roll On” and newer tracks like “Long Live The Weekend”, “What’s On Your Radio?” were aired. The band closed with their huge hit from 1997 “Prisoner Of Society” which had the whole floor going off its face.

The band’s encore started with the classic, rarely played “Uncle Harry”, into the newer track “Wake Up” and then the classic “West End Riot”.

The Living End was the best I’ve ever seen them play.

The Living End – Festival Hall

Author: Jesse Shrock

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The Living End, how much does thee rock? With the opening songs, we could count the ways; There’s the rapid-fire punk of Second Solution, the Reggae-infused I Can’t Give You What I Haven’t Got, and the pop-rock perfection of Who’s Gonna Save Us?

There’s no mistaking how much this city loves TLE, and in a venue the size of Festival Hall, the home-crowd vibe is a very tangible thing. For Save The Day, Chris had only just finished asking for his fellow Melbournians’ vocal support, (because of his sore throat) when, about five seconds into the song, the PA cut out. Sure enough, in a beautifully symbolic gesture, the crowd swelled in over the band’s monitors with vocals that, if they didn’t literally save the day, certainly saved the song!

The instant punk classics of TLE;s debut album are still, and will probably always be, their biggest crowd-shakers. But the latest string the band has added to its bow – the ability to write politically charged slow-burners – has really added a depth of passion to their live set, making it more than just a mosh-fest.

The addition of the Hunters & Collectors horn section for One Step Behind and No Way Out generated enough intensity to at least temporarily stop any pining for the loss of Midnight Oil.

Though their set was entirely bereft of weak points, the band can actually take more pride in what was left out – One Said To The Other, Pictures In The Mirror and others – than what was included. For it means there are now so many hits in TLE’s catalogue that even a 100-minute set cannot accommodate them all!

Even putting aside their astounding musicianship, (showcased tonight with an awesome rockabilly jam) there are few bands more on the pulse of the common punter – their humour, hopes and frustrations – than TLE. After pounding to a close with blue-collar anthems old and new (Long Live The Weekend and Roll On), with a little segue into gleefully vulgar ockerism (Uncle Harry), it was revealed they finally had a lighters-in-the-air number in their repertoire with the smouldering encore of Wake Up.

For this song, the projector screen displayed the words; “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth is an act of revolution – George Orwell” Well, the truth as I see it is that The Living End are Melbourne’s finest rock export, bar none.

The Living End

Author: Dave Hayes

The Living End
Hordern Pavillion, Entertainment Precinct

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Guitars played above heads; a punchy barrage of noise and a sea of jostling, swirling bodies, Perth four-piece Gyroscope united a few thousand individuals into a cohesive crowd with moody and often raucus guitar-driven rock. Whilst singer and guitarist Daniel Saunders apparently suffered with a broken hand, he lead the band with a tight and aggressive set including a riff-heavy version of Fast Girl. It’s understandably loud and full of energy, an irresistible invitation to pay attention.

For over 10 years Melbourne three-piece The Living End has rocked stages around the country armed with only a guitar, double bass, drum-kit and noggins crammed with rockabilly party tunes. Their shows are legendary. This reviewer remembers his first-ever live show – a Living End concert at the Enmore in the mid-nineties. Afraid that we’d end up squashed like gum to the floor in the mosh pit, a schoolmate’s parents booked tickets for the Enmore balcony. Although feeling a little cheated by being able to see the action but not actually participate, the gig still remains one of my most memorable live experiences.

And tonight, a new generation of young fans melded with the old inside a toasty Hordern Pavilion. Many things haven’t changed. Scott Owen still pulls off his trick of simultaneously playing the double bass whilst precariously balancing off the side of it. And Chris Cheney is simply an amazing guitarist as he cockily struts across the stage, dropping infinite solos.

Members of the three-piece horn section from Hunters and Collectors joined the Living End on a number of occasions through the set. At times the horns are masked behind Andy Strachan’s hard-hitting percussion. Yet when the band’s volume drops and the horns are allowed their own solo – such in One Step Behind – they offer a poignant contrast to the Living End’s normal forceful sound.

All Torn Down, dedicated to live music venues that have closed their doors over the years, insights and immaculate guitar and bass battle between Cheney and Owen. They stand face-to-face and take turns playing solos, eventually increasing the tempo and uniting in a convoluted wall of bass and guitar noise. Then there’s moody bass and a percussive thump of Wake Up off the band’s album of this year, State Of Emergency. As on the album, the song grows with volume and energy, with voices from the room eventually chanting the chorus behind Cheney’s own voice.

Naturally, hits such as Prisoner Of Society and Second Solution appear in the set. It hardly would have mattered if they didn’t. With or without the hits, The Living End is simply an addictive live band.

Long Necks (AKA The Living End)

Author: Unknown

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The Corner has employed the services of an MC for their series of celebratory gigs who was neither funny nor interesting with her sexual innuendo banter. Thankfully she didn’t go on for too long, we really just wanted her announce the bands and piss off!

I don’t confess to be too familiar with Even’s catalogue nor their live show but they graced the corner stage with a confidence and spirit that you know they have played there before. Casual and content, Even belted tunes from their entire catalogue, the voice and guitar of Even, Ash, playing with gusto and passion. Rock N Roll Saved My Life was the stand-out for me, it’s just a damn fine tune and it sums up what Even are all about, rock ‘n’ roll.

The Living Ed treated us with a great selection of tracks from their ever growing catalogue. From the older tracks, Second Solution, West End Riot and their new tunes like Tabloid Magazine and What’s On Your Radio, the lads ripped through them with energy and precision. The guys also proved to us once again their skills as musicians with spontaneous jams (Psycho Hillbilly Thrash) and extended brekadowns and intros.

You don’t get to see a bands of this caliber in an intimate venue too often, the energy that is expelled by The Living End is sometimes lost in larger venues. Thank you for an awesome night guys and Happy 10th Birthday, The Corner.

The Living End

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What do you want for Christmas?
Andy Strachan: “Peace, love and understanding.”

What’s your favourite Christmas song?
“The Little Drummer Boy.”

What would you give John Howard for Christmas?
“An eyebrow trimmer.”

What’s your favourite Christmas memory?
“Backyard cricket after a few too many…”

Complete this sentence: ‘Christmas comes but once a year…’
“…So eat lots of turkey and drink lots of beer.”

Staying Live Close To Home

Author: Unknown

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Thousands of soft drink-swilling music fans descended on Rod Laver Arena for the Melbourne leg of the year’s biggest cross-promotional event. About 11,000 people packed Sunday’s Coke Live ‘n Local event, which boasted only punters who had bought (and peeled the label from) a bottle of the fizzy beverage.

The ‘local’ component came in the form of home-grown acts The Spazzys, Dallas Crane, Spiderbait and The Living End, while P Money’s inclusion on the bill showed that in a globalised world, New Zealand is practically next door.

Despite their diverse styles – punk rock and hip-hop are strange bedfellows, aren’t they? – acts were tied by a jungle backdrop and spectacular light show.

Live music zealots Henry and Andrew from MacKillop College took time out from their own band, Sensei, to see how the big guns do it, while others just wanted to lap up the atmosphere.

Regardless of motivation, everyone showed their gratitude for admission to the exclusive event by joining in a Mexican wave.

And, in Aaron, Miles, Georgie and Mich’s case, by publicly thanking their mum for the Coke.


Author: Unknown

The Living End met a dedicated fan when they did an in-store at HMV’s Bourke Street store in Melbourne. A girl came from a tattoo parlour with their logo inked on her back, and asked them to sign around it so she could get their signatures tattooed as well. All up a strange arvo for the band. Over 1,000 people turned up, and lurched forward when the End started to play, knocking over CD racks and the mixing desk.

The Split Personality Tour

Author: Simon Barber


The Prince of Wales Hotel

The sold out gig began with a set from Turnstyle, of which I caught about half. Punters, sitting and standing, were scattered around the pub. Despite some strong guitar hooks and competent playing, the crowd failed to take any real interest. Turnstyle played the difficult support slot professionally, but with a sense of humour. They finished and told us The Living End was up next and hopefully we would “get off our arses” then.

By the time The Living End took the stage to play their distinct brand of punk/rockabilly, the venue was almost completely packed. The crowd were very receptive to the Melbourne-based three piece and there was plenty of action to keep them entertained. The unbridled energy of the band prompted a lively mosh and stage-diving. They managed to maintain a frenetic pace, without sacrificing any precision. Owen, on double bass, displayed amazing technique and often spun his instrument around or climbed onto it for effect.

The Living End began with a couple of earlier songs in ‘Misspent Youth’ and ‘Strange’. Radio favourites ‘Second Solution’ and ‘From Here On In’ came across very well live due to the increased tempo and catchy melodies. Variety was added to the set with a cover of The Cure’s [actually Soft Cell’s] ‘Tainted love’ and a few new songs, including the impressive ‘All Torn Down’. But the highlight of the set was ‘Prisoner Of Society’, which set the moshers into a frenzy and had everyone else singing along enthusiastically.

Perth band Jebediah kicked off with excellent performances of ‘Benedict’ and ‘Lino’. The band display some punky direction, but emit a more sophisticated sound with Chris laying important guitar lines and harmonies of many of the songs. The band weren’t quite as tolerant as The Living End and potential stage divers were kicked by Vanessa or dragged from the stage by security. Kevin bluntly said, “If you want to get on stage, start your own fucking band”, his comment met with cheers and laughter.

Jebediah played a varied and energetic set, with the rocking, sing-along tracks like ‘Leaving home’ and ‘Teflon’ complimented well by the more downbeat sentiment of ‘Harpoon’. A new song, ‘Paint Remover’ [The Less Trusted Pain Remover], is intriguing and complex. It is a sprawling piece that builds and falls, gets faster and slower.

The momentum of the show was briefly interrupted when Kevin’s amplifier failed, but not too many people seemed overly concerned. Chris made light of the situation by trying to sell the piece of equipment to the crowd during the delay. However, strong renditions of ‘ Invaders’ and ‘Jerks Of Attention’ had the punters humming away as they left the Prince of Wales, happy that they had seen two of the most exciting live acts in the country.

Gig Review

Author: Dan Oakes

It's For Your Own Good

Last Friday night at the Esplanade saw the launch of the new Living End EP, It’s For Your Own Good. I expected a big crowd, and wasn’t disappointed. 
By the time the Living End came on the place was heaving. 
The Living End launched into their set with unbridled energy and enthusiasm, and within minutes were sweating buckets. 
The drumming was short sharp and in bursts, in the style of Keith Moon (before his bloated, dead in bed phase), and seeing the double bass in action made you realise that, visually, the more conventional bass has nothing on its older brother. As on the EP, the band mixed up punk and ska influences with a predominately rockabilly background, creating what is, in my mind, a pretty unique sound. The crowd was big and responded well to the effort the band were obviously putting into the set. It was interesting as well, to see the mixing of subcultures evident. There were punks, goths, rockabilly fans, indie kids, ska freaks, all getting into the music. The Living End are obviously a band that have a wide appeal, and it is good to see.

Gig Review

Author: Darrell Bassett

Knew bugger all about the Living End until they came on but now I know they are one fine outfit. Kinda boogie, kinda punk, kinda something. Their cover of 10:15 Saturday Night gave a bit more of a perspective of these blokes, but not much – they’re right out of left field.