Fair dinkum to The Chats

Posted On 01 Dec 2019 at 7:51 pm

Fans at The Chats concert in Brighton 30.11.19 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pics to enlarge!)


The Concorde 2 on Brighton seafront was tonight besieged by no less than 11 spotty and bearded Antipodean lads and chaos ensued. But worry not dear reader, as it was all in the aid of having fun.

Those guys at Lout Promotions had collated three Aussie garage/punk bands for our approval. “Aussie garage punks?” I hear you cry. Yes indeed, they have them too. In fact, let’s set the record straight, they had one as early as 1973, in the form of The Saints who released their debut single ‘(I’m) Stranded’ in September 1976. They became the first punk band outside the USA to release a record, ahead of better-known acts including the Sex Pistols and the Clash. They are one of the first and most influential groups of the genre. I can remember back in the day buying their first two LP’s ‘(I’m) Stranded’ (1977) and ‘Eternally Yours’ (1978) from the bargain bins at Woolworths in Western Road, Brighton.

Lively night out at the Concorde 2, Brighton 30.11.19 (pics Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pics to enlarge!)

Other than The Saints flying the garage punk flag, things were a tad quiet until around a year ago, when we had the pleasure of reviewing Skegss and Dumb Punts (both from New South Wales) at the sadly defunct Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. That night was raucous just as tonight was. (Read that gig report HERE).

The next thing we catch is a couple of gigs by the terrific Amyl & The Sniffers who performed at The Haunt back in April this year (read the review HERE) and then absolutely stormed it at The Great Escape in May on Brighton beach. Suddenly there is an Aussie surf wave of mulleted Bruce’s making terrific garage punk rock who are more than willing to travel across the globe to play live in Brighton.

Tonight we are in the company of the latest wave with The Chats, Bad//Dreems and Crocodylus. From previous experiences, we know that it’s going to be rather heady and so we arrived not long after the doors opened. Beers in hand we camp ourselves right at the front on the barrier with trepidation as it’s certain that we will get battered and bruised! We weren’t wrong!

Crocodylus live at Concorde 2, Brighton 30.11.19 (pics Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pics to enlarge!)

First up tonight were Crocodylus a three piece garage rock band from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, consisting of Josh Williams, Stephen Sacco and Mikel Salvador. It’s here that I have to flag up to gig goers that it is always worth getting to concerts on time and to check out the other acts on the bill as you never know what delights you can discover. So shame on the hundreds of punters this evening who arrived after Crocodylus had finished. You missed a cracking set!

Crocodylus were (controversially) for me the best of the three bands on offer tonight. They played a blinder to around 100 young souls tonight, which is a shame as the venue holds 600 and tonight was sold out! For your sakes let’s hope that these lads come back and play pretty soon!. Their set was gritty with a meaty sounding bass and they are purveyors of surf rockin’ swinging beats as well as clearly being fans of The Stooges and the like. The shared vocals worked rather well too. A must see band!

Discover the wonderful world of Crocodylus at – www.crocodylusband.com

Bad//Dreems live at Concorde 2, Brighton 30.11.19 (pics Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pics to enlarge!)

Next up were Bad//Dreems who were born during an Adelaide (South Australia) heatwave in the summer of 2012 and features Ben Marwe, Alex Cameron, James Bartold and Miles Wilson, although tonight they are actually a live quintet, with I guess an added guitar thrown in for good measures.

Interestingly, this is a band of five beards as they are a few years older than the other two acts. The vocals are slightly rappy at times and there are elements of Oasis mixed with Blur and Arctic Monkeys. In my opinion, not as enjoyable as Crocodylus, but their set got better the longer they went on for.

More on Bad//Dreems can be found at – www.baddreems.com

The Chats live at Concorde 2, Brighton 30.11.19 (pics Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pics to enlarge!)

It was now time for headliners The Chats to bring their magic to the party and the emphasis being on the world PARTY! The venue was by now bursting at the seams with eager punters, with a vast majority being in their late teens. Clearly, The Chats are firmly on the younger generations radar at present, which has steadily expanded since their debut Brighton concert back on 29th October 2018, when they appeared at the compact Latest Music Bar. Missed it? Fear not as it’s on YouTube HERE.

The Chats personnel are Josh Price, Eamon Sandwith with Matt Boggis and let’s face it, they could easily be given the dork tag akin to 17 year old Gaetano John “Gaten” Matarazzo III aka Dustin Henderson from ‘Stranger Things’. But that would be harsh as these young lads are clearly out to have fun and spread the word through their ‘laddish’ tunes. Yes, we had songs about ‘Mum Stole My Darts’ and not having the ‘Bus Money’ to get home, and their mate getting a tropical disease (so they wrote a song about it) and even ‘The Clap’ where an impromptu census was carried out, as was one track about self pleasuring. But having said that, they are concerned about where they live back in Australia and don’t want the property developers filling up their beachfront with high-rise blocks.

The tunes were compact and we got through around 20 tracks in their hour set. One highlight was the roadies taking away the ground floor speakers at the front of the stage, so that everyone could see, but basically it was more than likely because the drummer at the rear of the stage could jump right over his drum set and run straight off the stage right into the audience for the best stage dive ever! Not seen that one before! The drums were still being played by a chum at the rear – fair dinkum mate!

Prior to them coming on stage, the intro tape was ‘We Are The Champions’ by Queen and clearly this evening they most certainly were with the eager punters! With the Concorde 2’s capacity being much larger than the Latest Music Bar, then I wonder where they will be performing in Brighton next time around?

Further information on The Chats can be found on their official website – www.thechatslovebeer.com

The Chats and Bad//Dreems setlists

Running order

Gig flyer

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