This is the review …
On Saturday, September the 10th 2022 after meeting up with an old friend for some pre gig drinks (thanks Dee, it was great to catch up) the four of us made our way to the Corner Hotel at 57 Swan Street in Richmond, Melbourne, VIC.
The doors opened at 8pm and we joined the line around the corner from the entrance, it turned out to be beside the back door and we got to see some of the musicians briefly before talking to complete strangers in the line about how they discovered Pop Will Eat Itself and if they had seen them before. Slowing down my excitement for a moment was checking in as a photographer but friendly staff (probably from Metropolis Touring) slapped a sticker on me and explained what I could do.
It was around 8:30 when Dubrow took the stage, I quickly left my gig buddies and headed for the area in front of the crowd barrier for the first three songs. (as per my media privileges). I didn’t know all the songs but was captivated by a high energy performance and good crowd interaction. The highlight for me was the nostalgia I felt when Dubrow performed ‘Political Prisoners’ a hit from his time in iNsuRge during the nineties.
The next act on stage were SNOG, a local Melbourne band that has been around since the end of the eighties. SNOG put on a visually engaging artistic show which included dressing in ‘They Live’ costumes and prop money being thrown into the crowd. It was pretty cool to hear Cheerful Hypocrisy live but the highlight of their set was definitely Corporate Slave during which David Thrussell wore a Trump mask.
After sneaking out for some fresh air with one of my gig buddies (thanks Kerri) the headline act Pop Will Eat Itself took the stage and played their 1989 album ‘This Is The Day … This Is The Hour … This Is This!’ in full.
You know that band you’ve enjoyed listening to for the longest time but haven’t managed to see live yet? This was my moment … I went behind the crowd barrier again for the first three songs and was treated to an up-close performance of ‘Preaching to the Perverted’, ‘Wise Up! Sucker’ and ‘Sixteen Different Flavours of Hell’ which happen to be some of my favourite songs from that album.
Moving back to join the rest of the crowd for the rest of the set from ‘Inject Me’ through to ‘Wake Up! Time to Die …’. While walking amongst the crowd still taking shots, I felt like the stage was a bit small for the band, but the poppies were giving their fans the same energy as they would to the biggest crowds they’ve ever played for. By the time the Poppies played ‘Can U Dig It?’ I was mainly just enjoying the show, feeling like a big fanboy and singing along with the songs. Through songs like ‘Def Con One’ and ‘Not Now James, We’re Busy’ it felt like a majority of the crowd were singing along.
After the set, it didn’t take long for the crowd to start chanting “P.W.E.I.” and the crowd was treated to an encore performance, I got to watch them perform ‘Everything’s Cool’ and ‘Ich Bin Ein Auslander’ which were my introduction to the Poppies back in the nineties and probably my personal highlight of their set. We got to hear the recent release ‘The Poppies Strike Back’ and classics like ‘Bulletproof!’ before closing with ‘Their Law’. It was so satisfying to watch them take a bow together at the end, I felt like they met my expectations and then some.
I met back up with my gig buddies and headed to the merch desk. Selyna brought me a signed copy of ‘Anti Nasty League’ and a tour shirt, which two of the band members signed for me. I was a little bummed that I hadn’t managed to get a good photo of the drummer while the band were performing, but he was kind enough to help me fix that, giving me a special keepsake from that time I got to see England’s finest.
Thanks So Much xx