After enduring 18 months of lockdowns, The Chats are back on the road selling out shows across Australia. Punktuation’s Jason Bruckner checks them out as they hit their home State of Queensland.
It was advertised as The Chats with Victorian rogues Batpiss in support, but since the southern states are ‘dead to us’ Queenslanders while they deal with the Delta strain, the opening band was all-girl three-piece Blussh. The promoter made a great move as it evened out the testosterone levels both onstage and within the audience.
The Thursday night show at the Indooroopilly Hotel was sold out. Blussh hit the stage and instantly got the party started. Their sound is a little bit rock, a little bit punk and lots of attitude. On guitar and vocals, Kelly has a voice that can transition from a sweet melody to a full-on scream, and she performs with a subtle seductiveness.
The girls are a tight unit, and we hear original tracks like ‘Shut Up Becky!’ and ‘Mental Health’ as well as a fantastic cover of Runaways’ Cherry Bomb’. A great start to the evening.
If the crowd was a grenade, then when The Chats come on stage, it was like somebody had pulled the pin. The place erupts with bodies of youthful energy. Every song is lapped up, and we are treated to a mix of songs from their ‘High-Risk Behaviour’ album and ‘Get This In Ya!’ EP, as well as a few others – including a new track about being struck by lightning.
It’s my first time watching new guitarist Josh Hardy, and he fits in seamlessly, pulling faces while strumming fast power chords and executing a few lead breaks. While The Chats are still ‘Aussie Larrikins’, I feel that they have matured their sound and stage presence a little, and they are all the better for it.
At The Backroom, Annerley
We’re back for round two, this time we are at The Backroom, in Brisbane, which is filling up with punters of all ages. There are rockers and punks and a diverse range of subcultures assembling at the venue.
Blussh have just kicked into their first song, and the crowd is rowdy already. The girls crush through their set, winning over the crowd, and by the sound of the cheers between songs, gaining new fans with the crowd begging for more.
Blussh rewards the onlookers with an impromptu encore where bassist Stacey moves onto the guitar, and singer Kelly grips the mic and lets loose.
As Sophia keeps pounding a steady beat, we watch in awe as Kelly climbs over the barricade that separates the stage from the audience and joins the punters. There’s singing and slammin’, and at times I’m unsure if her safety is at risk, but what a way to finish up.
Judging by the reaction they get from their fans the popularity of The Chats has not waned while they have been forced off the road by the global ‘you know what’. The boys give us hit after hit with songs: Dine & Dash, Identity Theft, Nambored, Bus Money, Temperature, one of my live favourites, Better Than You and of course their biggest track, Smoko.
Holding my position a couple of rows from the front was difficult at times as this crowd is insane! The Chats bass player/vocalist Eamon had to urge the audience to calm down several times as things got out of control and innocent fans were getting caught in the crossfire.
The last song they play for the night is Pub Feed, and as the final notes ring out, I decide to make my escape and take my bruised and battered body home. What a crazy, fun time it was.