The Koffin Rockers – Go K@#t Go

The Koffin Rockers Hit Cairns on Sat 22nd July to play the Pandalooza gig at The Panda Room.

Laidback larrikins Michael Hegarty (guitars/vox), Shaun Butcher (upright bass/vox) and Dean Gilboy (drums/vox) personify the musical genre they play: a mix of balls to the wall rock n roll, in your face punk, toe-tapping pop and just enough hillbilly to make you realise you’re not in Kansas anymore. This is completely new territory, so let The Koffin Rockers be your guide.

Check your inhibitions at the door, because TKR will get you on the dance floor with their no frills, all thrills stage shows that have been winning fans across the country. The band formed back in 2011, and since then have wowed crowds up and down the east coast of Australia. From HOtter Than Hell (TSV, GLD), Townsville’s Rock n Rods Nostalgia Festival, Stones Corner Festival, Fist Fest Punk Festival, the Airlie Beach Music Festival, Autumnfest Maitland, Towers and Stanthorpe Rocks, Cooly Rocks and Brisbane’s Greazefest Kustom Kulture Festival.

I caught up with Guitarist/Vocalist Michael Hegarty ahead of their Pandapalooza show in Cairns on 22nd July..

So how does a band from Townsville become influenced by Rockabilly music?

We’ve all grown up listening to vinyl. Hearing those classic Elvis, gene Vincent and Johnny cash songs really leaves an impression when you hear it that way. As time went on we grew up and 90s punk was all the rage. Hearing the living end and instantly connecting with their familiar style just hit a note. It’s nice to play something familiar, fun and something that transcends generations and genres. How could you not want to groove to some 2 step 12 bar with a double bass?

You guys changed your name to the Vankeys for a while then back to the Koffin Rockers, a few people up here have been asking whats with that?

Ahh yes the dreaded COVID times played a huge part in that. After our European tour at the end of 2018 we were looking at heading in a more alternative direction musically and the Koffin Rockers persona didn’t fit that model. We geared everything up, made the change and then covid happened. All our planning, tours and intentions went up in smoke almost overnight. So after some soul searching and a lot of requests we decided to go back to our roots. Let’s do what we love, let’s have fun like we always have. And that’s what The Koffin Rockers is, fun. Silly goofy fun. And you know what? The response since we’ve come back has been unreal. We are really feeling the love.

You are renowned for your energetic live shows, for the ininitiated.. what can Cairns punters expect from your Cairns Panda Room show?

Lots of boogying lots of laughter few really bad jokes. Dancing, prancing and romancing for sure. We’ll be sure to also climb all over the double bass. We’ll be going off like a frog in a sock.

I hear you have some music being released soon..

Absolutely! We are on the road again hitting greasefest in Brisbane in August in support of our upcoming release “Go K@#t Go!” A fun little EP highlighting our rockabilly roots with some of that good ole Koffin Rocker flare. A return to form in my opinion. Out on all platforms in August.

You have played supports to a formidable list of well known bands, do you have a standout story from playing these shows?

Watching Ross Wilson from side stage or maybe joining Area 7 on stage to sing ‘no body likes a Bogan’ in front of 8000 people. But to be honest it would have to be hearing Dave Faulkner from the hoodoo gurus say to the rest of the band listening to a crowd scream for an encore. He said ‘don’t rush, let them scream’. That was some big performer energy. Like a boss.

The Koffin Rockers Play The Panda Room ‘Pandalooza’ gig on Sat 22nd July along with The Julliettes, The Code, The Brazilians and Transparent Komeleon. Tickets available at Trybooking

Todd Macalpine