Sydney’s Gay Paris stunned and enthralled the assembled crowd at the Northcote Social Club. Imagine Norwegian band Turbonegro on crack and you’re about there in regards to describing the vibe of this polished, electric four-piece. They were rock n’ roll at its dirtiest, most filthy and sleazy and utterly unapologetic for being so.

With language and banter that would make Al Swearengen from the TV show Deadwood blush, singer Luke ‘Wailin H’ Monks charmed and cajoled the assembled throng. Put it this way, one of the more in–your-face ditties from the quartet is called ‘Can’t Suck My Own Dick Blues’. That gives you a fair idea of where the group is coming from!

Their confrontational attitude was coupled with highly polished and tight musicianship, especially in regards to the excellent vibe achieved by guitarist Lachlan ‘Ol Black Tooth’ Marks.

The four-piece are seriously one of the more talented and exciting bands to emerge on the local live music scene in the past few years, with an energy that is ridiculously infectious and impossible to ignore. The teaming up of the two main acts sure was an inspired move.

Co-headliners King Parrot have been making quite a name for themselves over the past year. With their raw and utterly blistering take on rock (on the heavier end of the scale), their sound and style incorporates elements of death metal, punk and the like. What makes them a compelling and at times intimidating live prospect is that, along with their attack and attitude, they also possess a total livewire of a lead man in the form of Youngy.

Not since The Prodigy in their heyday have a band hit the stage looking like they’re about to take hostages at any given moment. Unable to stand still for a nanosecond, the show saw Youngy rampaging, stage diving, and crowd-surfing through a storming set, all the while never missing a note or a beat of whatever song they were killing at that precise moment.

The gig was a massive leap forward for the band. During previous performances, they have been something of an untamed horse – a bit unfocused and undisciplined around the edges – whereas this set saw the quintet at their most sharp, fuelled by the sold out crowd in front of them who were lapping up every second of the set.

Highlights included ‘Epileptic Butcher’, ‘Blaze In The Northern Suburbs’, ‘Lizard’, and the unmistakable set closer ‘Shit On The Liver’, which resulted in a circle pit that you could have lost a limb in – such was its sense of controlled mayhem.

What makes King Parrot such a unique species as far as bands are concerned is that, in lesser hands, their music and stage antics run the risk of becoming highly repetitive. With sheer, bloody-minded charm and force of personality, the band avoids this trap easily – one that is very easy to fall into.

Thanks to both bands, it was a blistering night of pure in-your-face rock at its most non-commercial and raw. More power to bands like Gay Paris and King Parrot who fly against the sense of conformity and complacency that can often negatively shape and form music.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine