Tag Archives: The Band With No Name

Mofo Live Music Bonanza – March 29th, 2014


What is Mofo? I think originally it was a group of people. Then it was a shop, now it’s back to being a group of people again. Occasionally they do gigs, occasionally they do art shows and a lot of the time they make rad t-shirts. If you’re really lucky they might bring a combination of the former together with a rad sausage sizzle. Secret society? Sure. Secret handshakes? Probably.

They’re like the freemasons.

I grew up on Mofo gigs at its old stomping ground in McLeod Street. A dodgy Queenslander that had been well loved to the point where selling it as “having potential” would’ve been ambitious. There was a punk rock feel about it, walking through a respectable shop into a sweaty room; to the left a band belting out quality tunes and to the right a dancing crowd crossing nearly every demographic the ABS is willing to consider. In that tight space I’d seen so many amazing shows: local, national and international before walking out the back to get some “fresh” (a term used very loosely) air and to meet a new friend for the night. So upon entering the Germania Club I was a little apprehensive at first. I wasn’t prepared for a Mofo gig in a well lit room with tables, chairs and other luxuries such as air-conditioning. I wasn’t prepared for a Mofo gig that was respectable, it felt as if it was missing some of that underground feeling that brought us all together. Most of the crowd were out in the beer garden, tucking into a stein on Schofferhofer contributing to the white noise of conversation, and the ones that weren’t looked like the club regulars. And they had no idea what’s about to happen.

The night started with a raffle, as you do. No meat trays here, just the prize of being the first band on stage to warm up the crowd. Unbeknownst to most of the punters, The Dialers drew first, the lights went out and the murmurs ceased. The crowd was small at that point, and hardly swarming the stage, but this was about to change quickly. All of a sudden the band crashed into song #1, filling the room from front to back with a master class of offbeat funk. You can tell it’s early in the night though, because even though the groove is on, the crowd aren’t quite ready for boogying yet. They felt it will do them better to sit in their seats and wiggle around like a Doberman with worms. Meanwhile, Dal on the drums kills a solo attracting cat calls and Jon on the sound desk feels so confident with his work that he vanishes up the back for a beer.

From song to song there was less chair-grinding and more dancing as the crowd responded to The Dialers awesome blend of hip-hop and funk. The starting paltry numbers out front had by halfway through their set erupted into a raucous fit of moving bodies. The Dialers had everything needed to get the crowd moving (and it showed!) with fat low end bass, drums not once overplayed, jingling keys, glossy guitars and all tied together with talented vocals complete with a touch of freestyle rap thrown in for good measure. As they finished I realised The Dialers are a band who make me wish I danced a little more like Michael Jackson and a lot less like Bill Cosby.

The lucky door prize was drawn a second time, up next: Tectonic. You might know Tectonic as “The Band With No Name”, or ironically you may know them by a dozen other names, as I do. As they kick straight into their set it’s at this time that I finally noticed the projector splashing what I’ll refer to as “Arty Axe Murder Scene Compilation #3 (feat. Hitchcock)” over the top of the performers. Why did I only notice this now? Probably because it compliments perfectly with the dark and muddy Rock and Roll that this local three piece grind out. The vocals were somewhat Nick Cave-esque. Haunted and full of suspense it blends in with the guitar work reminiscent (to me) of early days TSOL, mid-days TSOL and later days TSOL. Although not that period where they were a glam-rock band, or that other period where they were a hardcore band.

Just like the act before them, they switch up their set with a change in vocals and sound here and there for variety sake. Although my favourite, Song #4, was an ugly but fun groove rock track driven by powerful drums and really turns the Germania club into somewhat a punk club for the first time in the night. All in all Tectonic turned out a fun set, a few minor sound issues along the way but nothing you wouldn’t want to see a second time. Particularly if it’s in front of “Arty Axe Murder Scene Compilation #4 (feat. Jason Vorhees)”.

Duck, duck, goose happens again and Meat Bikini took the stage for their debut show with their streamlined outfit. Downsizing from two guitars to one, I was keen to see how the local legends would fare after parting ways with their long time guitarist and Mofo custodian, Joel Goodman. After a solid half hour set smashing out some of my favourite classics my verdict is… it’s a change I don’t mind! Stripping back from two guitars to one has allowed for Ryan (now lead/only guitar) to whip out a nice beefy tone to compliment the fuzz-driven bass propelling Meat Bikini’s sound. The punk rock veterans blasted out a tight set of informative adages and life lessons set to the quality beats we’ve all come to expect. Highlights were the ever informative “Time Is Money”, “Shit-kicker” and “Tearin’ Me Apart”.

The new Meat Bikini is an awesome Meat Bikini. Better? We’ll that’s a decision you’ll need to make for yourself. I was a big fan of the solid guitar sound mixed in with the occasional lead riff and solo work provided, not as ridiculous as it once was. More refined, mature, if you can trust this rabble to be just that. I don’t. But as always it’s not so much about the punk rock as it is about the proverbs. We’re all now much, much smarter. Thanks guys!

Finally is the last kid on the basketball court that nobody wanted to pick, Peyote. With their drummer pulling the rockstar move and rocking up the moment they drop their first beat they powered through a solid set-list comprising of many of the great songs from their first EP you can find somewhere on our site. On the vocals, Ozzy bounces around like a Jack-In-A-Box-In-Doc-Martens-(no-socks)* to their grooving metal sound and Andy on the bass is leaning back so often I think he might have legitimately bought an instrument that’s twenty pounds too heavy for him. Time to hit the gym, bro, but It all adds up to a mighty good stage show*. So much so in my mind that it’s enhancing a genre of music that’s often very dour to appreciate the onstage antics of. The only criticism I could possibly make of their half-hour onslaught was when an erection worthy guitar solo from axeman Rhys went a little unnoticed.  It was fast, it was bitching, it was just a little understated, a little polite for my liking. I think I might have drunkenly rambled in his ear afterward to “Like go balls out man… balls out… balls.”

As I stumbled out of the Germania club after obviously a few too many Schofferhofer’s I thought to myself two things:

Firstly was that any Mofo gig is a Mofo gig and regardless of its location that same culture and connection will always be there.

Secondly that I really need to learn that secret handshake.

See you at the next one.

*I was mighty proud of these rhymes.

Photo by Todd Macalpine