Drunk Mums in Sydney – Live Review
Matt Lengren spent a frenetic Saturday evening checking out Melbourne-based Drunk Mums:
I’d never been to Spectrum before and, in retrospect, it was the perfect place to see the Black Zeros, Montes Jura and Drunk Mums – small enough to count everyone in the room, but large enough to be able to get more than one vantage point. Having arrived unfashionably early (so much so I was the only other person in the room for the Black Zeros’ soundcheck) I had a bit of time to scope out the scene. Tooheys New on tap, check. Smoking balcony, check. Only enough cash for two beers and no key-card, fuck.
Black Zeros had replaced These New South Whales on the bill and kicked things off with their groovy garage pop-punk. Joe Jackson had donned a Katy Perry-esque blue wig and a pair of retro white sunglasses that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Sandy Olsson’s entourage on Grease. Jackson’s sing-shout vocals surfed on the wave of BZs fast drums and punchy riffs and had the crowd throwing themselves around for the entirety of their set.
Montes Jura’s soundcheck rolled seamlessly into their jam session; every song played into the next with their psychedelic guitar lines and spacey, rhythmic drums filling every inch of the Spectrum. They’re the kind of band you could easily recommend to most of your mates – they play steady, drifting psychedelic rock akin to a handful of early Tame Impala songs and the Holydrug Couple, with light smattering of high tempo pop-punk.
If the drunk mums after which Drunk Mums named their band behaved as frenetic as these guys do on stage, I would be very scared of these women. Even missing two band members, they smashed their way through a ripper set, albeit lacking a bit of volume on Adam Ritchie’s mic.
It’s a shame that some of DM’s best songs including (but not limited to) Time to Come Back and Rubbing Your Gums will remain relatively unknown due to the fact that the majority of people will overlook them simply because of a gimmicky band name and confronting cover art. None of this is to say I don’t like them, because I fucking love them! I forgot how addictive their self-titled 2012 release was until I spun it again a few times before the gig.Reading up about these guys, you get the impression that they’re a bunch of punks who don’t give a shit about anything – DM’s image is often stymied by lazy, regurgitated buzz phrases like ‘zero fucks given’. This couldn’t be further from the truth; I think they take their craft very seriously. Now, you might not believe that considering Jake Doyle introduced their second song with “this next song is about a really stinky fart!” but they do take things seriously. For a band as loose/carefree as they appear, they are paradoxically very tight musically.
Doyle and bassist Ritchie were evidently sick of being restricted to the confines of the small Spectrum stage, so they moved their mic stands down to ground level to jam for a few songs amongst the punters up front (see picture to the left which I took on my
Johnny Badlove requested “a sip of that fucken beer” from the same bloke Ritchie had just told to fuck off for continually requesting they play a song they’d made clear wouldn’t be performed: Eventual Ghost. This frustration seeped into the remaining songs with Ritchie mumbling something like “we’ve got two more songs, but you can’t hear my vocals, so fuck it”.
The set ended, but the guys got back onto the stage for a rushed, frustrated encore of Hematemesis following cries of ‘one more, c*nts!’ from the remaining audience members – Doyle jokingly suggested they play Eventual Ghost. It was a shame they were missing band members and the sound wasn’t up to scratch, but they definitely did the best with what they had and still impressed me. Set highlight: dead heat between Plastic and Sewing Up My Mouth.
Review by Matt Lengren