Baby Animals + Palace of the King | Live review | The Tivoli, Friday 17 March 2017

Never heard of Palace of the King? Neither had we. But by god, they rocked. This Mebourne hard rock sextet released their debut in 2005 and have been pretty much touring since, supporting The Tea Party, Baby Animals as well as their own headline gigs. The Aussie-rock-meets-glam-rock-meets-blues group is ably fronted by Tim Henwood, whose vocals put listeners in mind of a cross between Axl Rose and Andrew Stockdale. This group is tight, talented, energised. One to watch.

“Well! I think I’m probably going to get laid tonight, what do you reckon?” asked Suze De Marchi of the roaring crowd, following the Baby Animals’ entree song and biggest single, One Word. Hands shot up everywhere. “I’m not interested in any married men,” she declared. Several hands went down. One can only imagine the conversations had in some cars home last night.

Twenty five years may have passed since the release of Baby Animals’ self-titled debut album, but you wouldn’t know it. In a set beseiged by technical difficulties and interrupted by a couple of idiots punching on in front of the stage, the band proved one thing for certain: They are consummate rock professionals.

A handful of Baby Animals’ songs suffer from odd time signatures and almost indiscernible melodies. It’s certainly not that the band can’t write solid thumping 4/4 rock and catchy hooks, it’s just that sometimes they didn’t. Still, even the lesser known numbers, when produced live with energy, humour and at about a thousand decibels, can and did keep the crowd energised. The more hooky hits raised the roof. One Word, Rush You, Painless and Early Warning were the undisputed faves of the evening.

At 38, I’m not used to being one of the younger crowd members at gigs, and it was a great feeling. The Baby Animals brought together a bunch of 90s music lovers and pub rock stalwarts for a fun night of solid Aussie rock and (no doubt) sore feet. Dave Leslie absolutely shredded on lead guitar. The barely-aged Suze strutted and headbanged, her growl made raspier by time, drawing all eyes and ears to the diminutive rock chick as she owned the place. Top night, guys. Hope everyone got laid.



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