Concert Review Tropical Fuck Storm - Melbourne - 23rd March 2019

Tropical Fuck Storm | Photo Stephen Boxshall

Tropical Fuck Storm | Photo Stephen Boxshall


By Darcey Mitchell

Artist: Tropical Fuck Storm

Date / Venue: Saturday March 23rd, 2019 - Corner Hotel, Melbourne

It was as if Melbourne knew that Tropical Fuck Storm had returned home last night, the air hot and humid and the threat of a storm at any moment as everyone poured into the Corner Hotel for a night of excellent home grown talent.

For those of us lucky enough to get there early enough for the opening band were treated to an entertaining set by young local band U-Bahn, playing their modern take on German synth music and all five wearing matching laser sunnies to complete their look. If you have ever enjoyed Devo or Kraftwerk I’d heartily recommend making your way to their debut album launch on March 30th at the Curtin.

Taking to the stage shortly after U-Bahn was New War, playing songs off their sophomore album released last year. After taking a few years between albums it’s been excellent to see them live again. Vocalist Chris spent his time roaming the stage, not able to stand still as the whole band gave an excellent performance of their music that’s an indescribable blend of razor sharp pop, unhinged dub and feverish punk.

With Tropical Fuck Storm only minutes away from playing, the room buzzing from New War and U-Bahns set, the Corner Hotel became almost uncomfortably packed to accommodate the sold out show.

Tropical Fuck Storm came screaming onto our stages last year with one of the best debut album’s of the year, A Laughing Death in Meatspace, becoming critically beloved almost overnight. They also have barely stopped to rest since and their live shows reflect this – every time I see them they’re playing better together and last night they were truly on top of their game.

Changing the intros to a number of their songs kept them feeling exciting for fans that might have seen them more than a few times in the past few months and really highlighted the musical talent of guitarist Erica Dunn, the songs becoming longer and more chaotically anarchic.

Frontman Gareth Liddiard spun his guitar so wildly that at times it seemed it might go flying into the crowd, his punk antics only add to the often frantic and feral sounds emanating from his guitar.

Crowd favourites Soft Power, Antimatter Animals and You Let My Tires Down were met with thunderous applause, Liddiard’s sharp and cutting wit filling the room at one stage while tuning guitars between song he threw out “lets have a Q &A, ask a Question?’ Somewhere from the back of the room came “what’s 6 x 8? Gareth looked up a quizzical look upon his face, a snigger a laugh and leaning into the microphone “I don’t have to answer your Questions c*nt, I’m a rockstar” a laugh from Fiona on Bass, a roar of approval from the crowd and as the band threw themselves into their instruments another snigger into the microphone “ nah I’m not a rockstar, youre the only ones who know me”.

Their excellent cover of the Divinyls Back To The Wall saw guitarist Erica Dunn and bassist Fiona Kitschin take over the vocals for a brief reprieve, before once again Liddiard took over.

While they mostly played songs off of A Laughing Death in Meatspace (minus the Divinyls cover) they also played their new single The Planet of Straw Men, which takes the off kilter textures and sonic acidity of the debut album and hones it, the song perfectly imperfect.

If their was one problem with the show it was that it ended far too soon, and before we knew it the curtain was coming down leaving us all with ringing ears and anticipation for more from this band that will continue to reach new heights (They’re about to go on their first headline tour through the UK and Europe).

If you missed them at the Corner Hotel last night, they are playing in Castlemaine Sunday night at the Theatre Royal, and they’re more than worth the travel up there.

In true Melbourne fashion, the crowd leaving the Corner Hotel last night found that the predicted storm hadn’t hit, leaving the only one that hit Melbourne last night was the one we saw in a crowded room in Richmond. Clearly, the storm knew it couldn’t hope to compete with a Tropical Fuck Storm.