I am Duckeye ‘Commando Too’ Album Launch, Grindhouse, Sierra Leone, Bricks. The Public Bar, North Melbourne. 21-06-14.


Words Matt Haycroft (I am Duckeye)
Photos Daniel Oh – Criminal Indifference

Hi, my name is Matt, not only do I play guitar in I am Duckeye, I also have a full time job and write reviews of live music and albums. So when Anthony asked me to review my own band for Desert Highways, I relished the idea! Firstly for the challenge and secondly, I can tell the truth about how frigging awesome we are. Sure Dad always said “Self praise is no recommendation”, but he hasn’t seen I am Duckeye yet.

This gig wasn’t just another gig, it was a launch for our second album “Commando Too”, an album that we successfully crowd funded. We were graced with some really fun opening acts: Bricks, Sierra Leone & Grindhouse; three bands that any line up would be better for having, and we got the trifecta!

Our set started with some typical technical shit from Sam (lead singer, guitarist, my brother)’s side of the stage, this time there was no power at all there, so we had to yell at each other over some ‘90s rock blaring through the PA while Jules (bass) tells Sam to stop removing all the plugs that he had just checked. Sean (drums) just tinkers with his too bloody big kit and I look for an extension lead. This is stuff that happens all too frequently and punters have no idea. Finally, Sam’s amp roars to life. We do a mic check and the sound guy Hans (Jules’ mate), tries to get some levels. No foldback and what we do hear is distorted. Perfect…

Fuck it, lets go! We kick off with a crowd favourite, “Tea-baggin”, we’ve played it at every gig for three years, due to it being catchy but it also has some of our best choreography, people love it. Next we go into “It’s Time” possibly the most rockin’ song ever about doing a poo; I’m proud of its clichéd yet tough riff. The crowd is warming up and Sam tells the crowd “We’re gonna do an oldie!” and I point at some grey haired chap in the audience and ask “Are we gonna do that oldie?” The old man shook his head and widened his eyes in fear. In hindsight, I probably would have done him, his hair was thick like an ageing fox tail, something to grab onto in the throes of passion. He looked like a cuddler too, probably would’ve offered me a Werther’s Original afterwards. We carve up “Baby Money”, such a classic Duckeye song. After that we play a newie off Commando Too, “Ayy Ayy”. This song is great, its essentially two chords and it never ends well. It purposely whimpers to an end and leaves the room silent and confused.

This however opens up the set for a chance for us to put down our guitars and for Sean to kick off a pre-recorded dance version of “What’s Wrong With Me?” from the new album. Sam sings while Jules “pulls shapes” and I throw glow sticks and an inflatable donut into the crowd. This was both a fun experience and stupid idea i.e. Never give your audience projectiles no matter how much you think they love you. We then pick up our guitars, play a sweet version of “Dude, Whatever” followed by “Panchow” the album closer of Commando Too. This song is so epic and reeking of brilliance, my mind sometimes explodes at how we came up with this masterpiece. Since the song is pretty complex, I accidently come in a bar early but no one notices because I cover it up so well. The only reason I mention it here is so you know that I am indeed a mere mortal.

We finish with “The Riff” and “Punching Dicks”, Sam does his dick tricks and we’re begged for one more song, so we play “Stoolbender” and tell everyone to buy our merch. They thankfully do so now we can put some fuel in the car for the Commando Toour all over the east coast. And Adelaide. We have to go to Adelaide for some reason…