@ Forum Melbourne 3/11/2018
Melbourne summers are strange and annoying. They take ages to heat up, but when they do it’s glorious. The Living End’s show in their hometown was a bit like the variable weather at the bottom of Victoria – it took a while to warm up but once it got going it was well worth the effort.
Punk rock and humour might not be natural bedfellows but when you consider that Jonny Rotten has forged an alternative career as a butter salesman maybe there is some inside joke that we haven’t been told, but TLE frontman Chris Cheney has the funny stuff in droves and kept a joke about himself getting the day of the show running right until curtains.
With a quick throw to Smoke on the Water and a hastily assembled touring van song, The Living End made sure they didn’t just queue up song after song and actually put together a good live experience.
The band have got a new album to promote so songs from Wunderbar was always going to feature heavily but they kept half a foot in the past as well and served up a selection of their tastiest treats. They owe their breakthrough to Second Solution/Prisoner of Society and both songs tested out the pliability of the Forum’s floorboards.
The band has morphed through a variety of styles but one thing that’s unique to their success is an ability to create massive choruses that are always there or thereabouts with their original sound. Death of the American Dream and Proton Pill are two from Wunderbar that do that – and they were two of the best received from their latest tracks.
This band definitely bring something unique to the live scene and Scott Owen on the double bass has turned playing into a rock n roll masterpiece. There are a few bassists around who could learn a thing or two from the Mohawked magician as he maneuvered his clunky instrument around the stage and even stood on it while playing at the same time.
The Living End definitely brought the Forum to life on Saturday night, but when the band posses so many tricks up their sleave and skill in their hands, it makes you wonder why it took three or four songs to properly get going.