Live Review: The Murlocs in Hobart

murlocs-670x449’s Deputy Editor Chloe Mayne headed out to catch The Murlocs as they rolled on through the Tasmanian capital:

Going to a show at Hobart’s infamous watering hole, The Brisbane Hotel, has become such a simple and wonderful joy over the years. Marked only by a square neon beer advertisement on the outer shell of the second storey, it slinks between the buildings like sly cat. Under the vaguely fluorescent glare of the front bar, barflies who haven’t moved since happy hour lean wobbly elbows onto the counter, slurring and merry. Out the back, over the sticky carpet, is the dark crevasse of the bandroom, with a teeny weeny stage nestled into the corner. A wristful of smudged ink is the ticket to this train.

Hobart’s a funny place; people go along to see their favourite local acts support touring bands and tend to have slipped away to the beer garden by the time the headliners sneak onto the stage, forgetting what they bought a ticket for, or maybe just not minding. It’s pretty endearing, though it can change the dynamic a little bit. While the crowd ebbed in and out during The Murlocs’ set, occasionally finding a big boogie foothold, it was mostly a cosy show that could have taken place in a loungeroom if the lumpy couches up the back had been pulled in a little closer. That suited me just fine; I had plenty of space to swing my arms about, while the couple beside me had plenty of space to pick one another up and spin until their legs went akimbo (as well as launch me into the air). One of my favourite things about live music in Hobart is that everything’s both very relaxed and bursting with energy at the same time, like a big round belly laugh.

The evening’s course sailed mostly through new tracks, including recent single ‘Rolling On’, which was a delicious hip-swinging shanty. Things really took off during the old favourites, though, with ‘Space Cadet’ driving the crows to a twisted sweat. There was a looseness to the set that pulled shoulders into sway, guitars and harmonica rolling back and forth across one another in off-kilter tumbles. Relaxed cohesion is a marvellous thing, and it was wonderful to sink into, like a big sunny sonic blanket.

The Murlocs are an excellent entity, both on record and on stage – go get ’em!

Chloe Mayne


Words by Chloe Mayne.