L7, Cosmic Psychos. 170 Russell, Melbourne. 12-10-2016.


Words Mikaelie A. Evans.
Photos Suzanne Phoenix – Photos Punctuate My Life.

L7Taking the stairs by two to run into a sea of bodies, the amplifiers pound like thunder inside the thick walls of 170 Russell as ‘Dead In A Ditch’ is among the opening songs for boozing punk legends, Cosmic Psychos. The venue’s filling, and they wholeheartedly dedicate a song to our Australian Prime Minister; “This one’s for Malcolm Turnbull and it could be for Donald Fuckin’ Trump.” The heavy bass groove of ‘Better, Not Bitter’ takes over and a round of applause is received with a cheer of laughter. Their raw jams continue to be reciprocated, with their sounds well known in their home town. Rocking through their set, the three piece maintain their energy that is shared amongst the venue; ’She’s A Lost Cause’ has the crowd screaming along to the lyrics. Before too soon their set comes to a close and the cue for the bar more than doubles during the intermission.

It’s an exciting evening! These bands haven’t played together since the ‘90s and it feels like a big old mate-fest as drinks continue to be clinked together and everyone seems to have forgotten that it is actually a school night. All girl Californian rockers L7 haven’t toured down under in far too fucking long, so having them play on the same bill with their mates in Cosmic Psychos is pretty outstanding. They soon adorn the stage, and again punters are taking the stairs by two to catch their opening song of ‘Deathwish’.

Ammmazing! The influential women are straight into their extensive performance, with so much energy that it’s hard to believe that this wasn’t the first night of their Melbourne shows. They’re shredding straight through their classic repertoire, charging in. Bassist Jennifer Finch is barefoot, rolling thunder on the bass that adorns the iconic Misfits skull all over, Donita Sparks shreds on her flying V guitar with her arms moderately covered in temporary metallic tattoos. Suzi Gardner stands to the stage right, subtle and cool as she leads the guitar. Demetra Plakas steadily pounds away at her drum kit below the massive L7 banner. It’s hard to believe that these chicks are in their early ‘50s! They look great and hold together a tight set, which was identical to the evening before as a few keen fans notice, but certainly don’t mind.

Come ‘Fuel My Fire’, the crowd surfing has truely begun; the restrained standing area motions like a roller coaster as punters get their kicks, shuffling one another across the tops of our heads. Security guards eagerly pull the lifted bodies over the barrier, who are soon back in the mosh pit doing it again. While jumping feet in Doc Marten boots cover the sticky floor, the chicks are rocking out from the stage, well engaged with their fans. Their show is filled with their favourite songs, including the likes of ‘Slide’ and ’Crackpot Baby’.

‘Shove’ inevitably has people doing just that; the mosh has become a big pit of sweaty bodies and spilt drinks, screamed lyrics and flying punters. Presumably finishing their set with ‘Shit List’, the crowd begs the rocked out four-piece for more! After a moment, we catch our collective breath before exhaling it all back into ‘American Society’. It’s followed up with ‘Pretend That We’re Dead’, that ensures that people are back on shoulders and rocking out to the max. Finally bringing their extensive show to an end with ‘Fast And Frightening’, everyone goes out with a bang as the crowd explodes into their final hoohar for this city. The bar is now closed however the merch tables are flocked with people needing to change their sweaty shirts into something more memorable for the years to come.