Sunday night, and as the song goes, “it’s a nice day for the pub“. Well a nice evening anyway. There were plenty of crew at The Shark Bar on Sunday ready to see the kings of yobbo grunge, The Cosmic Psychos.
I first saw the Psycho’s in 1986 (9 years after they formed in 1977) at the Graphic Arts club in Sydney, and they blew my mind. Loud and hard, with very comedic, definitely not politically correct lyrics. Looking at the crowd, I was sure 50% of them were not even born when I first saw the Psychos , and this band has been credited with influencing many of the bands responsible for the “Seattle Sound”. In fact Buzz Osbourne from the Melvins described their sound as “putting and electric guitar in a muffler and dragging it down the freeway”. There was a great mix of people there, and it was set for a great night with your feet stuck to the floor. A sure sign you are at the Shark Bar.
First up was some rock chicks who kick arse, Voiid. Last time I saw them they were looking a little inexperienced, but now they have blossomed into some tight rocking ladies, with a personality to boot. From only a few punters checking them out, the front of stage was filled. It was a teenage punk boy fantasy. Rocking tunes that had everyone moving, and showed they were no wallflowers. These chicks have got substance. Pop punk delivered with style. My favourite was ‘Deranged’ from their EP ‘Pussy Orientated’. It showed a bit of change of pace, but these girls are going to rock some socks off at the rate they have improved since the last time I saw them. Check ’em out.
Next up it was that catchy internet sensation The Chats. Houso punk? Bad haircuts, speed dealer sunnglasses (at night), and songs with attitude and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Nothing exceptionally skilled, but they were tight, bouncy and had the heads banging, and even a few the old grey punks getting their Pogo on. The Sunshine Coast punks have a dash of Cosmic Psychos and the Dune Rats to them, but their sound is a little light on, very reminiscent of the punk bands of the early 1980’s floating around the Goldy back in the day.
Their best received song, of course was ‘Smoko’, but there are a couple of other songs, all revolving around the pub, booze, and just stuff you do. A bit same-same, but they were certainly amusing. The crowd was rapt with their effort, and one did question if the crowd was there for The Chats or for the Psychos, The Chats lead singer even saying, “Well we know you are not here to see the Psychos”. But like everything with The Chats, it was very tongue-in-cheek.
Once Ross Knight’s bass blared out, with a sound similar to a Harley Davidson motorcycle, it was pretty obvious that The Chats were the kid brother, and big brother had just taken over. If you did not have earplugs, hearing damage was almost guaranteed. The PA struggling to overcome the crazy noise and power coming off the stage. The sound even thumped you in the chest, it was thick and heavy.
They started with ‘Pub’, and even the younger punter knew the words. The Dune Rats love the Psychos, and have spreading the word to their fans. The place went catatonic when they broke into ‘A Nice Day for the Pub’, beer spray flowing through the air, a sweating, gyrating, crashing melee of bodies became one, like a giant punk amoeba. It was power, drive, and massive sound, doing what the Psychos do best. They finished up with ‘Lost Cause’, and then basically said they were not going to bother going backstage and having the crowd ask for more, they were going to play one more…. They did that, doing their classic ‘David Lee Roth’, and very member of every band that played got on stage to do it with them.
It was not a place for the faint hearted at front of stage, but it was one awesome gig.
IMAGE: Cosmic Psychos at OzFest 2018. By Peter Wheeler Photography.