Violent Soho @ Mansfield Tavern, 13th December
It’s the last night of Violent Soho’s No Sleep Till Mansfield Tour, and suitably we are all lining up in their home suburb outside the Mansfield Tavern. This is the first all ages show I have been to in a while, and the teenagers have arrived early to try and secure their place in front.
After some tedious ushering from security, we finally enter the enormous function room. The underage kids are escorted to the back corner or the ‘pen’ which it is soon named. As more people stumble through the doors, the first band walk on stage. As much as I’d like to mention their name, the band begin to play without introduction. Their fusion of metal and bluesy riffs certainly captures the attention of the audience; the howling vocals and deep drum kicks punch through the air, I just wish I knew their name…
Up next are Melbourne band Ceres. Their set begins immediately with some powerful drum crashes and twangy guitars. They very much resemble their Melbourne brothers, The Smith Street Band, as they jam out some alternative rock riffs. Vocalist Tom Lanyon screams his emotions through the mic; It’s an emotional set both lyrically and physically and Lanyon sheds a tear as he leaves the stage for the last time on this tour.
The wait for Violent Soho seems to go on forever. The crowd is packed together; restless and eager to mosh. Violent Soho finally enter and the crowd erupt, pushing their way to the front. Opening with Dope Calypso, Luke Boerdam’s vocals are crisp and prominent over the thrashing drums and blaring guitars. The crowd jump together, up and down, things are getting hectic and it’s only the first song. Moving straight into Lowbrow, the crowd cheer and continue to mosh with a circle pit forming to the right of me. Arms fly and bodies smash together, pushing the rest of the crowd away. As the set goes on, guitarist James Tidswell spies a security guard getting violent with a crowd surfer, which he calls him out on after the song. Kudos to Tidswell for sticking up for his fans, and giving a big ‘fuck you’ to the poor security at the show.
The set moves to Violent Soho’s more popular songs with Fur Eyes, Muscle Junkie and Covered In Chrome all proving to be crowd favourites, but that’s hard to judge when every song has people cheering and moshing. The band leave the stage after an extended version of OK Cathedral, and the crowd immediately chant ‘Jesus! Jesus!’. This is a hometown gig, of course we all know what song is coming for the encore. As the band return, the opening riff of Jesus Stole My Girlfriend rings through the amps and an eruption flows through the crowd. The circle pit starts, people jump from the stage and there are more people crowd surfing than I can count on my hands – this is what a Violent Soho gig is all about.
It’s only fitting that they ended their run of shows at their hometown of Mansfield, and it’s only fitting that this was one of the craziest gigs I’ve been to, maybe the craziest gig ever.