Words James Moretta.
After years of refining their brand of ‘90s punk and ska, Blindspot took to Amplifier Bar to launch their latest EP ‘You’re So Phoney’. With the aid of phenomenal supports and a keen understanding of a good time, Blindspot managed to do justice for the new tracks, creating a night to remember filled with crazy scenes and a sense of humour.
Setting the pace for the night was The Light The Dark; who exploded onto the stage with their punk-infused mix of hardcore and metal. The band traversed seamlessly between melody and brutality, with vocalist Michael Spencer completely dominating the stage with a presence like no other. The slowly filling room quickly obliged the band’s call to action, with the crowd getting up the front to shout along.
Up next were Geraldton locals, Alex The Kid. Featuring Harry Decline on drums, the five-piece brought their brand of fast-paced pop punk that they’ve become renowned for. Alex The Kid showed a genuine love for what they do with the whole band shouting along to every chorus with guttural passion. All the while, frontman, James Matthews bounced around on stage, with his mop of hair hypnotically reciprocating the break-neck speed of the bulk of the band’s catalogue. The band were so intent on a good time, that Ken McCartney threw his guitar to the ground and got down to dance with the front row of the crowd. The dancing didn’t stop there, with the band showing off some synchronised moves to the tune of their self-proclaimed “dancey song”. Although questionable, their moves were hilarious nonetheless. What a blast!
Hailing from Melbourne, Pitt The Elder hopped off the plane and onto the stage to a keen crowd who were excited to catch a glimpse of the melodic punk outfit. Jet lag was certainly not a factor, with the band hitting the bar with a suitcase full of energy and sing along choruses. Although some of the crowd took time to warm to the Victorians, they came around by the end, bouncing in unison to the catchy tunes. Guitarist, Shaun Scanlan, used his time on the microphone to spread an educational message in hydration, insisting on regulatory shot breaks for the crowd.
Storming the stage next, were Scalphunter. Suddenly the crowd began to swell, seemingly doubled in size as one of Perth’s premier live acts struck the first of many mind-blazingly aggressive chords. The stage shook as the band ran amok, their hard rock’n’roll inciting a crowd full of head banging. Lead singer Steve Knoth commanded the attention of the room, the denim-vested giant letting out a string of piercing yells. Half way through their set, Knoth provided a speech which was completely indicative of what Scalphunter stands for. The frontman bellowed, “In a perfect world, the crowd would go harder than the band. But it’s not a perfect world; I don’t want a perfect world. We are Scalphunter and we’ll go hard”. The crowd responded positively, the set ending in a drunken mess of sweaty high fives. Musicians take note: this is how it’s done.
The night was reaching boiling point. Both the heat and the crowd’s excitement were factors in the genuine buzz surrounding the band everyone was there for: Blindspot. On the back of releasing their latest EP ‘You’re So Phoney’, the lads were ready to take the night to a whole new level. In true punk fashion, strings were snapped just seconds into the set, with Mark Gregson’s guitar proving unable to cope with the pent up energy. The delay that followed, however, didn’t ruin the band’s momentum due to an amazing sideshow of terrible jokes and beatboxing from singer / guitarist, Ben Swain. He kept the crowd entertained for long enough for the band to regroup and got straight into the fan favourite ‘Ska Wars’. The room immediately turned into a stampede of skanking with several dancers clinging on to the stage for dear life as the mob around them went ballistic. At The Space Jam’s Andre Georges joined the band on stage to provide the trumpet for the song which proved to be an early highlight. Gregson looked to have shaken off the early frustration of the set by jumping around like a man possessed while leading the way through a few tracks off the band’s ‘Drink’N’Laugh’ album. The crowd soon got into full voice as the band cranked out ‘Grabusabeer’, which features a chorus that many would undoubtedly be humming on the way home. Everyone in the bar grabbed their best mate and their beer and sang along to the song about the need to deface your passed-out mate with a drawing of male genitalia.
Andre Georges returned to the stage sporting a suit and storm trooper mask, akin to the group’s unofficial mascot. The boys stripped their shirts off and finished with the title track of the new EP ‘You’re So Phoney’; ironically calling for the crowd to get their phones out and film the closing song. What ensued was a sweaty rush from the reckless crowd, illuminated by the flashes of multiple phone cameras. In a moment of complete euphoria, four punk rockers and a dancing storm trooper capped off the night in stellar fashion. Blindspot gave a master class in live punk music; they prove that it’s all about good music, good mates and good beer. For these reasons, whether you’ve met them or not, Blindspot are already the best blokes you’ll ever know.