Drunk Mums & The Bohicas_ Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne 19th June 2014


Image Courtesy of EMI

shuanaTo be an international band (in this case hailing from London, Essex) touring here off the back of only one EP release is a big call. Admittedly they have had high rotation on Triple J and huge promotion though print and online media, but still that is pretty extraordinary. Scoring a ticket for their show in one of Melbourne’s best small venues, Ding Dong Lounge in the CBD, I obviously had very high expectations of the English four piece. Having spinned their EP a few times in the last few weeks, I liked what I heard but was also curious to see if they could hold in up in a live setting. Melbourne crowds are notorious for being hard to impress (an why wouldn’t we, being one of the best cities in the world for live music?) but there is something about their sound that would surely induce some movement.

Signed to huge English label Domino, also home to huge names such as Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand and Dirty Projectors, it seems like these guys have fallen into the trap of being one of the next ‘buzz bands’; ironic because their EP features a black and yellow print of a bee. Tonight was their chance to show us all why they have been making waves all over the UK, being booked for huge festivals in Europe as well as shows in Asia and here, in Sydney and Melbourne for a quick visit.

Supported tonight by locals Drunk Mums, these guys are a common fixture in the Melbourne punk/garage/pub-rock scene, recently back in town after a national tour for their newest single Plastic. This four/sometimes five piece certainly make an impression. Mullets, scruffy outfits, vintage guitars and attitude to match, these guys make high energy songs about drinking, drugs, women (their album cover was banned from iTunes due to it being just a photo of sagging aged breasts) and superficial girlfriends. Drawing everyone into the room with their banter and blasting tunes, they show the visitors how they do rock and roll here in Melbourne.

Jumping on to stage and not wasting a second, The Bohicas showed us they meant business from the get go. With a sound reminiscent of many other UK indie bands who can write a great hook such as The Libertines, The Cribs or Palma Violets, they fitted in well to the mould of their sound and image. Sporting primarily black attire, leather jackets and Fender guitars with mirror pick guards, their appearance certainly displayed that they mean business. And it’s a good thing they did, otherwise it’d be pretty hard to take them seriously.

The majority of their short, no encore set was consisted of songs unfamiliar to us all. Despite this, the songs were in no way lacking in powerful guitar driven hooks, bouncy bass-lines, strong drums and accomplished vocal harmonies. They were certainly skilled with their instruments, making for a tight and punchy set without any noticeable slip ups. Despite being a relatively new band, they definitely didn’t come across that way.

The last four songs featured those from there current EP, which earned a greater reception from the crowd. Even though the unfamiliar songs still received a decent response, the familiar songs definitely got everyone moving, even if just a little bit. The last song of the evening XXX even got the kids at the front moshing, inducing huge smiles on he faces of the band. Front man Dominic McGuinness told the crowd that this was ‘the best show they’ve played, ever’ which received a rapturous response. Brief thank-yous and they were gone. And not without making a great impression on their audience. Proving that they are a band to watch, I’m sure they’ll be back in Australia after they finish their debut album. 

Best moment: Seeing the faces of the people in the front light up when the guys played the opening bars of XXX, as too the faces of the performers when a mosh developed out of nowhere.

Artist_The Bohicas

Venue_Ding Dong Lounge