Live Review: Violent Femmes @ The Triffid
Like so many others I feel a constant urge to go back and relive my childhood at any given opportunity. Being afforded the chance to see one of my favourite 90’s alternative rock bands, The Violent Femmes, perform at The Triffid was simply an experience I couldn’t turn down.
MZAZA is a group like no other, creating world-music which transported you to almost every corner of the globe
The night opened with Australian world-music group, MZAZA (pronounced Ma-Zar-Zar as lead vocalist Pauline Maudy clarified with the audience). MZAZA is a group like no other, creating world-music which transported you to almost every corner of the globe from song to song. They went from performing covers of renowned French artist Serge Gainsbourg, making you feel as if you were walking down the Champs-Elysees, to Latino music which took you straight to bullfighting in Spain.
This musical transportation soon took us back to the 90s when The Violent Femmes entered the stage. They kicked off the set by committing what most bands would consider the ultimate musical taboo – opening with their most famous song, Blister In The Sun. The 90 minute set that followed would also see some classic favourites such as Kiss Off, Prove My Love, and Gone Daddy Gone.
With the release of the bands first new album in 16 years, “We Can Do Anything” only a few days ago, it wasn’t a surprise to hear a bunch of new tracks including leading single Memory and new release I Could Be Anything, featuring “elephants and dragons” as lead vocalist Gordon Gano pointed out.
Hardcore fans would have been delighted to hear the band play some of their less popular songs such as Black Girls and Good Feeling as well as requests for FAT and two year old request from Woodford Folk Festival 2014, Gimme The Car.
Bassist Brian Ritchie proclaimed that violins are much like Martini’s “one isn’t enough, but two is too many”
It seemed the boys had challenged themselves to see how many instruments they could fit into one set, with banjos, violins, saxophones, trumpets, and flutes all appearing. Bassist Brian Ritchie proclaimed that violins are much like Martini’s “one isn’t enough, but two is too many” as well as that “it’s not about the banjo, it’s about how much you love the banjo.”
The Violent Femmes definitely aren’t the young things I remember seeing on that episode of Sabrina The Teenage Witch as a child. Despite the change in appearance, which can only be described as a bunch of dads, the vocals and instrumentation are still as flawless as when the band formed 36 years ago.
Easily being one of the youngest people in the crowd, watching the Violent Femmes for me was sort of like watching your uncle’s cover band perform at the Christmas party, and as much as you love the music and are enjoying yourself, Aunty Suzie, who’s had one too many gin and tonics, is definitely having a much better time than you.
All the same, it was still a super enjoyable night which brought together older fans who have been following the band for years, younger fans like myself who grew up listening to this music and of course those few people who just really, really like Blister In The Sun.
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