GIG REVIEW: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets + Supports, The Triffid, Brisbane, 13/06/2019

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Words by Rangi White.

Photos by Elizabeth Sharpe – Ummagummamumma – Live Music Photography.

Full gallery HERE. 

The monstrous PA system that towers either side of the stage at The Triffid in Brisbane was given a crash course in psychedelic extremity last night as Psychedelic Porn Crumpets took to it, celebrating the release of their brand new album ‘And Now For The Whatchamacallit’ in glorious style. These Perth-en sound-wielders have grown since their inception and after their debut album – ‘High Visceral, Part 1’ was released under What Reality? Records, they’ve toured their otherworldly sounds across the globe in search of higher experiences and decibel limits, and their humongous ability as a musical group is easily discernible when watching them play. Warming up the room for them was Future Haunts and RAAVE TAPES which I thought was an abstract but interesting pairing of genre and tonality as support artists… though by the end of the night, judging from the turnout and the exultation expressed by fans afterwards, I’m of the opinion it was a good decision that made for a great gig.

Entering the venue was interesting, as always…(I was worried about the turnout when I arrived as it didn’t appear busy, but my fears were waylaid shortly after.) The Triffid’s atmosphere is that of a completely normal city bar… with a hidden music hangar (literal hangar) at the back and it creates an odd sensation where you know that you’re having a cigarette on a normal smoking balcony outside, but you also know that 15 metres away under your feet lies one of Brisbane’s most impressive music venues. After taking in the initial atmosphere of the gig – and taking the charity of Good Call Lives very own Liz Sharpe as she bought my poor ass beers – I took the plunge and entered the hangar at the back in preparation for some kick-ass tunes!

Future Haunts were the party starters on the night, and they took to the stage bringing their epic contemporary grunge/surf sound in all its fullness! Though I was of the opinion that they could have incorporated more physical aspects of performance to enhance their visual appeal, I enjoyed their songs immensely! One aspect of their sound that stood out to me was their comprehensive use of guitar tone – the lead guitar tones and the rhythm guitar tones were curated to the point where each instrument was audibly discernible – and in a big hall like the Triffid, that’s hugely important so as to not come across with a muddy sound, and they achieved that to a tee! Overall they played a great, dynamic set, and set the mood for the upcoming performances succinctly.

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Now, I’ll admit – I was not fucking ready for what was coming next. I was investigating the depths of my near-empty tobacco pouch when I heard these guys start, and I dropped my cigarettes and ran back inside to see what the hell I’d just heard…(The ciggies were dropped into my pocket its ok I’m not a complete idiot)… and was I met with a spectacle or what! RAAVE TAPES are a band that, between three of them, have possibly one of the biggest sounds I’ve ever heard for a three piece – and they’re not even heavy! From the most unlikely of places – Newcastle – is where this strange Disco/pop/electro/dance/I don’t even know what the fuck-core band comes from, and upon hearing and seeing them you wouldn’t pick it! They exhibited massive amounts of diversity in their guitar tones, the outlandish effects turning a hollow-body electric guitar tone into a tone reminiscent of a keyboard/synthesizer was very intriguing, and it sounds like a real trademark thing for RAAVE TAPES‘s sound, and definitely constitutes their unquestionable individuality as a band. On that topic, I really enjoyed the communication with the crowd provided by both vocalist Joab Eastley and Bassist Lindsay O’Connell, they were bright and bubbly in their mannerisms and it translated to their music wonderfully. Though I’m not quite sure if these guys would be the support band I’d personally have picked for PPC, people absolutely adored it…and who am I to go against the will of the people?? (An idiot, is the answer to that question, considering how many off chops people there were in that hangar.)

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There’s always that special moment before a headliner comes on where the whole audience shares a moment of anticipation, and the excitement for what is about to be witnessed becomes palpable…thankfully, I was able to experience this from directly in the middle of the room where excitement seems to be concentrated. The crowd response as the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets walked onstage was huge, as if there wasn’t enough sound in that room already, the appearance of Jack McEwan (Vocals, guitar) Luke Parish (Guitar) Danny Caddy (Drums) and Luke Reynolds (Bass) seemed to push the roof ever-upwards. The thing that appeals to me most about the music these gentlemen create is that as a psych rock band, they take more time into thinking about what atmosphere is created by the sounds they’re using than any other outfit of the same genre I’ve seen in this scene, and the way they set it is incredible.

Large geometric visuals projected onstage alongside smoke and a light show was a feast for the eyes of everyone watching – In combination with their music, it was a sensory overload! The synth chords and the guitar chords are fused by the adhesive that is pedal tone, and to me this seems to be the most important feature in coining (or trying to) Psychedelic Porn Crumpet’s sound as it provides such a huge scape of sound that they malleate with ease. Their pure rhythmic cohesion took me aback, their fluency with which they change time signature and metre was (especially to a drummer) mind-blowing – but also refreshing. It’s nice to step outside the 1,2,3,4 box sometimes! With elements of ska, reggae, jazz – (the ‘free’ variety) grunge, rock and a little bit of prog thrown in there, the mixing bowl of sonic soup I had to sip from was very, very, very flavoursome indeed and I’m grateful to PPC for serving it up to me steaming fucking hot.

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One aspect of last night that I found to be interesting was that I couldn’t really put a finger on the age group of people that were there. The demographic of age was so diverse, the mix of older music fans and younger fans coming together in appreciation of the one performance was (for want of a better word) cool! It was almost as if each song PPC played facilitated a different emotional response from the audience, and upon reflection this may be why they have such a varied group of people who adore their music.

Last night was an incredible experience, and it’s encouraging to know that Australian bands of a different genre can still make such an impact on a scene without having to play to what’s popular – Psychedelic Porn Crumpets definitely prove that to the extreme. Most musicians are scared of branching into the unknown with their music for fear of retribution from the contemporary gods above…my only hope is that these guys continue to be as hedonistic as possible. Tonight they bring the psych to ‘The Croxton Bandroom’ in Melbourne, and their album tour continues full speed ahead – to which I say, good luck!

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Grab your tickets for PPC upcoming shows HERE. 

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