It’s been close to five years between drinks, but last night saw Aussie indie favourites Children Collide reunite for their first show since 2015, and what a night it was.
When Children Collide first formed back in the mid-’00s, they quickly found themselves gaining a fervent fanbase, with their first two EPs receiving widespread acclaim and attracting wild crowds at their live shows.
By the time they shared their 2008 debut The Long Now (which deserves to be hung in an art gallery, if we’re being honest), their profile had risen and songs like ‘Farewell Rocketship’ and ‘Social Currency’ received enough triple j play to either chart or almost chart, respectively, in that year’s Hottest 100 countdown.
While Theory Of Everything followed in 2010, the release of their third record saw the band decide to go on a bit of a break. While drummer Ryan Caesar departed the group before the release of 2012’s Monument, frontman Johnny Mackay found himself moving over to New York City to work on his Fascinator project.
Despite a two-show reunion in 2015, the band have remained relatively dormant since then, with Mackay telling Fairfax that the group never actually officially split up, inspiring hope of another reunion down the line.
“I didn’t really think Children Collide was going to go the way it did. And officially it hasn’t, but, whatever,” he explained. “The second I left the country, everyone else was sort of like ‘well, I guess the band’s not happening any more’.”
Check out Children Collide’s ‘Aurora’:
Last month though, the group returned with ‘Aurora’, their first new song in seven years, and plotted their first official live dates since 2015 in support of the track.
With a show in Sydney set to take place on December 18th, and a hometown show in Melbourne to follow the next night, Tuesday, December 17th saw Children Collide make their return to the live stage with a warm-up show at the newly-reopened Cherry Bar, blowing away a sold-out crowd in the process.
Taking to the stage with the lineup of Johnny Mackay, Ryan Caesar, and bassist Chelsea Wheatley, it took almost no time at all before fans with transported back to the halcyon days of the band’s formation, kicking things off with ‘Chosen Armies’, taken from their debut album, which also appeared on their first EP as an early version titled ‘Frozen Armies’.
Of course, with note-perfect renditions of classic anthems like ‘Across The Earth’, ‘We Live In Fear’, and my 2008 ringtone ‘Skeleton Dance’, fans were treated to a number of new tracks to give an example of what the group’s long-awaited fourth record would sound like.
Kicking the new material off with ‘Uh Oh’, it’s clear that Children Collide haven’t missed a single beat in the years since. Sounding like a catchy mix between The White Stripes’ golden days and that memorable episode of Sealab 2021, the group certainly won’t be short of singles once the new album drops.
Check out Children Collide’s ‘Skeleton Dance’:
While ‘Aurora’ followed, it wasn’t exactly a brand new track for many, with both it and other tunes like ‘Funeral For A Ghost’, ‘Return To Femmes’, and ‘Turrets’ having been given a live debut during their last shows in 2015.
Dishing out other premieres like ‘Mind Spider’, ‘Man O’ Da Peeps’, and ‘Trampoline’, fans clearly resonated with the new material, enough so that Mackay was quick to comment on how the audience had already learnt most of the words.
After a brief encore break (which consisted of us imagining the group had actually left the stage), a mesmerising trio of hits closed off the night, with ‘Social Currency’, ‘Jellylegs’, and the instrumental ‘Fire Engine’ proving that after all those years away, Children Collide are still as powerful and mesmerising as ever.
If you’ve been lucky enough to grab tickets for the band’s Sydney and Melbourne shows across the next two nights, you’re undoubtedly in for something truly special.
If you missed out though, you might want to make sure you’re first in line for the album tour when it comes around. With the way these new tunes are sounding, you can be sure that the new record is going to be a corker.
Check out Children Collide’s ‘Chosen Armies’:
Children Collide @ Cherry Bar, Melbourne 17/12/19 Setlist
‘Across The Earth’
‘We Live In Fear’
‘Funeral For A Ghost’
‘Man O’ Da Peeps’
‘Return To Femmes’
‘We Are Amphibious’
Children Collide 2019 Tour
Wednesday, December 18th (Sold Out)
The Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Thursday, December 19th (Sold Out)
Howler, Melbourne, VIC