The Gooch Palms_hires

Live Review: The Gooch Palms Come Home (The Foundry, Brisbane 29/1/2016)

Sweet merciful crap, it’s a dank and sweltering Friday night in Brisbane with humidity at unprecedented levels of Satan. You would think the last thing anyone would want to even think about doing would be to pack out The Foundry to watch a high-intensity punk rock show but you would be very wrong, as the patrons are rolling in tonight in an absolute rainbow of different attires.

They’re here to hoist up the Welcome Home sign for everyone’s favourite duo of Novocastrians The Gooch Palms, who are back in Australia after leaving our shores for Los Angeles some time ago. With 2013’s debut LP Novo’s under their belt, some cracking new tunes having been released late last year and more to be expected, they’re back to remind us all they still call Australia home, with their show at The Foundry tonight their very first on an eight-stop East Coast jaunt.

Supporting them tonight up first are local faces White Lodge, one of the more consistent names around the live music scene in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. They play raw and guttural, sneering punk rock that harkens straight back to the Ramones, only much grimier. The crowd assembled are sweating uncontrollably already and this isn’t even maximum capacity by a long shot.

Following White Lodge are another local band in Cannon, who are just something else. Their set goes on and on and on, the best way I can possibly describe it without ever having seen or heard of them previously is if Sam Herring (of Future Islands vocal duties) fronted a scuzzy punk band. (So it was good. Very, very good.

Despite the hideous heat, their frontman dons a scarf and throws absolutely every microbe in his body around that stage, dancing and gesturing and just being as lively as possible. They’re entertaining as all heck, not giving the crowd a second to get bored, and their cover of Diana Ross’ Upside Down is the unquestionable highlight.

And we’re on to the main event, with duo Leroy and Kat bounding to the stage in matching track jackets and eye-paint, a big old Foundry cheer greets them and they launch straight into it. I’ll level, I’m only here tonight because the writer who was meant to cover this show was sick, so I know next to nothing about the old Gooch Palms beyond the very brief research I did before jumping in the Uber.

I’m nonetheless blown away by their energy and their chemistry and the fantastic way they connect with an audience and make them laugh. They’re part Flight Of The Conchords comedy and part unapologetic 80s punk rock in the vein of bands like Circle Jerks, The Cramps, The Rezillos, a touch of The Plasmatics for good measure and even some old Skyliners-style doo-wop thrown in there too.

Not even halfway into their set and Leroy is down to his underwear, admitting trackwear in this heat was a terrible idea. He expresses his desire to get all of us on the bus to bring along on the rest of the tour which I’m absolutely okay with too. They rip through one of their newest songs in the surf punky Tiny Insight and it goes over oh so well with a crowd already very familiar with it.

I’m blown away by the sheer level of noise these two people are capable of creating as they run through Novo’s favourites like We Get By, A Sun, A Moon, Hungry, Don’t Cry and a heartbreakingly good You. The pair dedicate Hunter Street Mall to our very own Brunswick Street Mall just around the corner, drawing incredibly valid comparisons between the ugly and violent state of the two places.

And just like that the pair have come and gone in a cyclone of rock and roll noise. Not before absolutely winning over one new fan here by putting on one of the most fun and entertaining spectacles I’ve witnessed so far this year. They might call LA home these days, but their hearts seem to be well and truly in Australia, genuinely thankful to the crowd for their enthusiasm.

Let’s hope they don’t stay away too long.

(Photo from the AU Review)