Glancing around the Tote, there appears to be approximately four women in the room; three of which are on the stage, one is writing this review. The free barbeque on offer is not the only sausage sizzle happening it seems.
Having returned from a sizeable absence, The Spazzys seamlessly slip back onto the Tote stage. Kat, Ally, and Lucy Spazzy are back and previewing a few well received songs from their album Dumb Is Forever.
Caught up in label dispute limbo since 2006, their latest promises to deliver shiny, pop punk gems like “Love=Pain”. Short, sharp and energetic, their set packs a punch and the imposing crowd applauds heartily.
An air of excitement and anticipation takes over as punters flee the searing indoor heat, awaiting the Cosmic Psychos to shamble onto the stage for their third sell out show in as many nights.
Louder, rounder and ruder than ever, vocalist Ross Knight, drummer Dean Muller and guitarist John McKeering soon have people cramming inside, peering through the windows from the beer garden and peering in from the front bar.
“It was a lovely day today/ it was a very nice day to go to the pub today” begins Knight before sparking the first of many sing-a-longs with “Nice Day To Go To The Pub”. The yob rock anthem dedicated to the simple joys of beer, schnitzel, and beetroot brings out the inner bogan (and for some, the outer bogan) in the churning crowd.
The band plays relentlessly, barely stopping to catch their breath but making enough time for Knight to pound down a never ending supply of Pure Blonde sitting atop his amp. During one of these breaks, a punter foolishly goads “play a good song”. Knight snaps back “we haven’t got any good songs ya fuckin’ donkey, you’re in the wrong pub” to a wall of hoots. Older and balder, yes – but the singer is just as apologetically acid tongued as ever.
As “Dead In A Ditch” begins, the front of the stage becomes a haze of tangled hair, flying beers, and pointed fingers. As Dean Muller’s drums are viciously belted and the veins in Knight’s neck look set to explode, a shiny new iPhone zooms past. Puzzlingly, the macho crowd, who have up until now been shoving mercilessly into each other, part carefully to allow the owner to tenderly retrieve the flying phone.
McKeering noodles away sludgily on “Custom Credit” and battles on against foldback problems that haunt the band constantly through their set. Continuing to appear and disappear at will, when it once again returns, the pesky foldback prompts Knight to snarl “aww fuck it’s back again… Poltergeist!”
Vacating the stage after a scolding performance of “Lost Cause”, the men of the hour are soon lured back and shirtless to boot. McKeering whips his shirt off and simply says “come on cunts, I’m not getting any skinnier.” Knight, whose pale blue shirt is now completely navy, strips down, somewhat awkwardly, to reveal a toned torso in better knick than men half his age.
Rather than gloat he points at his jeans and laments “I look like I pissed meself, better get used to that in my old age” as Muller quips “if you drink Pure Blondes you can look like that”.
A short-lived crowd surf appears to achieve little but injuries as brutal face kicking breaks out as they encore with “David Lee Roth”. Guitarist McKeering hoists his guitar behind his head and rolls his impressive beer gut at the same time, a sight to see if there ever was one.
Finishing up with “Hooray Fuck”, they take a few well deserved short bows. Rather randomly, the stage is suddenly hailed with bras and underpants and Knight moons the crowd. Stepping back onto the stage Muller grabs a bra, smiles and echoes the thoughts of many a professional musician- “money would be better though.”
A nice day to go to the pub indeed.