Frenzal Rhomb [live review]

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Frenzal Rhomb [live review]

The Barwon Club, Geelong
Saturday 24 May, 2014
Frenzal Rhomb has been around for a lazy 22 years. In those years they have had some colourful experiences to say the least – from being banned from being played on JJJ, to ‘The Doctor’ becoming one of the station’s long serving-hosts; band members having to get surgery to remove a pig tapeworm egg from their brain, to being one of the more successful at-home and abroad punk bands that Australia has ever had. Frenzal have also played Geelong a bunch of times in those 22 years, so I was expecting a healthy and excitable crowd for the show at the BC.
I was surprised that there was a crowd barrier up tonight, which gave me a huge indication that tonight could get a little bit crazy. The night started off with Clowns, which funny enough, were not the clowns that your common nightmare consists of … but maybe they were clowns, because I arrived about five minutes after they had finished so for all I know, maybe they were the same ones that frequent people’s nightmares.
Next up was Front End Loader, with a familiar face on drums, that of Peter Kostic (who also plays in Regurgitator and played in The Hard-Ons), another long-established NSW band, whom also attracted a fair share of people that were obviously there to see them. They powered through their hour set with ease. Lindsay McDougall seemed to be the biggest fan of the band there, standing tucked away on the side of the stage playing along on his guitar and singing to himself for half of the set. The audience received it well; it even prompted one dude to get topless and start doing push-ups for half a song.
Next up was the main attraction, Frenzal. As the 30-minute changeover ticked over, the venue started getting a little drunker, a little rowdier, a little smellier and a hell of a lot more cramped. Then the chanting started – and then Toto’s ‘Rosanna’ blasts over the PA, to which Frenzal Rhomb casually stroll onto stage to and proceed to start playing Rosanna with Jay Whalley’s take on the lyrics, which just included a lot of “something something’s”.
Then it all began, and the next hour and a bit becomes a chaotic blur filled with all the hits, about half of their 1997 Meet the Family album, a lot of onstage banter that Whalley suggested ‘The Doctor’ could use on the radio, spontaneous theme songs for band members (Tom Crease), complete nudity from audience members, amazing dance moves, lots of random audience hugs, lots of drink throwing from the audience (which included one shot from a long distance that hit Whalley in the chest) and lots of smiles and laughter from the band that prompted a twenty minute or so ‘by request’, in which they seemed to half play songs they struggled to remember then move on to the next request. The set finally finished up with ‘You Can’t Move into My House’.
All in all, it was one of the more fun gigs that has been in this town for a couple of years. Let’s hope it’s not a couple more years before Frenzal decides to tour again.
Written by Lucas Barnes