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LIVE: Tropical Fuck Storm, Perth – 23 Feb 2018

| 6 March 2018 | Reply

LIVE: Tropical Fuck Storm, Perth – 23 Feb 2018
With FingerFingerr & The Wind And The Trees
Chevron Festival Gardens, Perth Festival – Friday, 23 February, 2018
Reviewed by Brian Dunne
Photos by Rachael Barrett

Chevron Gardens, for those unfamiliar with the place, is a remarkably cool pop up venue for Perth International Arts Festival. Purpose-built for live bands, the venue includes a chill out extension open to the non-ticket buying public which provides bars, food stalls and DJ entertainment. Inside the ticketed event section is a large dance floor and hundreds of tiered seats.

Kicking off this evening’s international roster of bands, Indonesia’s The Trees & The Wild started with an acoustic-sounding piece from the all electric instruments of this five piece group. This quiet start in no way presaged the approaching whirlwind of this remarkable band’s virtually orchestral performance which proceeded throughout the set without any breaks between songs, as though it truly was a concerto. The Trees & The W were an absolute treat to witness.

Next up, Brazil’s FingerFingerr could scarcely be more different. This dynamic duo turned up the fun factor to eleven, along with the volume. Part Brazilian hard rock, part falsetto vocal pop, FingerFingerr are funny buggers indeed. Their set was peppered with large, sweet dollops of crowd participation, particularly memorably with a crowd sing-a-long of their song Yeah Yeah, the lyrics of the chorus consisting, predictably, of just the words “yeah, yeah”.

Finally, headliners Tropical Fuck Storm took to the stage. The crowd, which had hitherto been disappointingly small, swelled somewhat, though the Chevron Gardens venue was still by no means full. Fronted by Fiona Kitschen and Gareth Liddiard from The Drones – the latter of course a Perth boy and a member of Maurice Flavel’s infamous Gutterville Splendour Six – Tropical Fuck Storm got down to business with the disconcerting Lose The Baby.

To be frank, the first couple of songs in this set left this spectator feeling rather underwhelmed and increasingly ready to write Tropical Fuck Storm off as some kind of egotistical wankfest. It did not take long, however, to not merely turn this initial perception on its head, but to very quickly become more and more enamoured with the band to the point of instant fandom.

This one eighty degree reversal of opinion occurred as Gareth Liddiard expressed more and more anger with each new song, most of which he introduced with the phrase, “this is a new song.” Eventually he pointed out that, obviously, “they are all new songs.”

The frontman grew seemingly livid as the content matter of the songs grew more political. This was ratcheted up when TFS broke into The Drones’ controversial tune, Tamam Shud, which translates from the Persian as “the end” or “finished” and references an infamous 1948 murder but essentially lists all of the things which Liddiard doesn’t give a fuck about. From this point on the band more or less frantically exploded.

Having been abroad and essentially absent from the Australian scene during the decade-long rise and eventual domination by The Drones of Australian independent rock, I’d wondered whether I was the best person to review Tropical Fuck Storm. In fact, I now firmly believe it was all for the best: I’d arrived at the gig without any preconceived expectations and ended up heartily rewarded by a performance which left me stunned by the majesty of this extraordinary group.

Radio favourite You Let My Tyres Down romped, followed by another political commentary in Soft Power. Totally immersed into the maelstrom of Tropical Fuck Storm by this point, swept away by the hard power of the band which grew increasingly forceful, all pretence of objectivism blew away. Tropical Fuck Storm fucking rule! Go and see them whenever you have the opportunity. See them whenever you can and take as many friends along with you as you can. They’ll thank you later.

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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