The Gasometer was unusually packed on the Saturday night as the third support took the stage at The Goon Sax’s Up To Anything album launch Tour. This Chapter Music release seems to have been well received as band announce that this is their first sold out show ever. An appearance at Meredith Music Festival and a stacked Melbourne based lineup certainly didn’t hurt the turnout.
RVG graced the stage second and unsurprisingly blew the crowd away. Singer and lead guitarist Romy Vager seems a little stage shy and you can see why when she belts out passionate and devastating renditions of tracks from their 2016 debut album, A Quality Of Mercy. ‘Vincent Van Gogh’, ‘Feral Beach’ and most memorably ‘That’s All’ showcases masterful songwriting and lyricism and a somewhat retro-Australian feel, like an eclectic mix of The Go-Betweens and The Church. RVG is a band not to be missed, especially in a live context as their performance is more evocative and lingering their recorded material.
Up next is one of the most larrikin named bands in Melbourne, Suss Cunts. Their set was perfectly commenced with the slow instrumental of ‘Shit Friend’, which slowly builds musically pairing with brutally honest lyrics about that one friend that you love and hate at the same time. Suss Cunts exhibit the joy that only fast and hard early styled punk can provide. Their songs and banter are infused with an irreverent tone which is very refreshing to hear on stage. After adorably gushing about how stoked they are to follow on from RVG the singer quips “we are gonna play a new one…because that’s what you do” to which the drummer responds “yeah, you write songs and you play them.” Add this to tracks like ‘Get Laid’ with fun punky harmonies and The Goon Sax had themselves another awesome support.
In that way, the Brisbane act with a acoustic lead guitar had set themselves up for a anti-climatic start. There is a tender and deeply personal bent to their songwriting but which makes for a more intimate and quiet set. After the emotional rawness of RVG and then fast paced humour of Suss Cunts, it was hard to give The Goon Sax the level of concentration they deserved. Nevertheless, ‘Telephone’ was a accelerating start, performed perfectly and it is great to see this incredibly young band show much more confidence and presence on stage than they did a year ago.
The set certainly warms up and the songs James Harrison sings are the most interesting due to his unconventional recitative singing style. Yet the slightly more upbeat hits like ‘Boyfriend’ go down well with some dancing at the front of the stage. Interestingly the finish on a new track ‘Make Time For Love’, who’s melody certainly shows the Forster-family influence (Louis Forster, being the son of The Go-Betweens founding member Robert).
With a European tour booked for the northern summer season and the backing of Chapter Music, the trio from Brisbane seem destined for great things with their endearing brand of alt-rock. Surrounding themselves with other brilliant local acts as well as putting on a great show, this sell-out show proved that they are one to watch.