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Live Review: Violent Soho w/ The Bronx & Luca Brasi @ Riverstage, Brisbane


Violent Soho have risen through the ranks of Brisbane’s icons to join the likes of Wally Lewis, Stockies Sunday sessions, and XXXX Gold (a.k.a Milton mangos). They’ve risen just as quickly through venues as well, as the 4-piece not so long ago were playing to a few punters at the Crowbar.

Following the release of their third studio album ‘WACO’, they decided The Tivoli was the place to play on the Brisbane leg of the album tour. Low and behold, they sold-out three consecutive nights, and so “Where to from here?” they asked themselves. The bloody Riverstage!

Unfortunately, we missed rising Perth rockers Tired Lion, but made it in time for Tassie punk heroes Luca Brasi, who’ve also had a cracker year following the release of their third album ‘If This Is All We’re Going To Be’. Tearing through tracks such as Aeroplane, Say It Back, and Count Me Out, the grins on the Tassie lads’ faces couldn’t have been any bigger.


The band played at near-recording consistency, as vocalist Tyler Richardson delivered a faultless and passionate vocal performance (I also reckon he chucked about 20 shakas by the end of the set). The fans ripped up the pit for favourites like Borders and Statelines and the much-loved Anything Near Conviction, making the quartet feel at home on the big Riverstage.

After a quick run to the bar, it was time to see what US punk heavyweights The Bronx had in store for us. I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of The Bronx prior to the announcement of this tour, and damn have I been missing out! There was nothing that could have prepared me for the onslaught that would take place for the next 50 minutes. Frontman Matt Caughthran commanded the crowd like he was royalty, as just a few songs into the set he stage-dived deep into the crowds embrace before being lifted like a king.


From set opener Heart Attack American, to Knifeman and Around The Horn, the lads never let the intensity drop below 100 per cent, and are up there with one of the best live bands I’ve seen. Lead guitarist Ken Horne delivered one of the tastiest solos the Riverstage has ever hosted, shredding for about a minute straight. The set finished, and I forgot Soho were playing because I swear I had just seen the headline act. However, the men from Mansfield were up next… and had some big boots to fill.

The four local heroes walked out and the lights shone bright, illuminating a sea of kush smoke and most Soho shirts already drenched in sweat and beer. They began with fan favourite Dope Calypso, a truly killer opening track. Frontman Luke Boerdam sounded grungy as ever, as Soho followed with banger after banger. From Evergreen (RIP my phone) and the classic Jesus Stole My Girlfriend, to the deafening crowd-lead Like Soda, there was nothing bassist Luke Henry couldn’t whip his hair to.


The crowd vibed out to slower tunes Saramona Said and Fur Eyes, before giving their last amounts of strength into the pit for heavy-favourites Viceroy and Love Is A Heavy Word. Wrapping things up with recent single No Shade, Violent Soho decided it was time to bring out the confetti, but it was more of a slow releasing confetti and nothing too legendary.

But we knew they weren’t done yet, nobody would leave the venue until they had ripped their vocal chords singing the new-age Brisbane anthem. The lads walked back out to deliver an encore of Tinderbox and the aforementioned anthem, Covered In Chrome.


Throughout this year I’d seen this song played at the Brisbane Showgrounds, to the Splendour In The Grass main stage (which sounded as quiet as background music) and even the Crowbar, but this was the best of the year. Thousands of punters frothed themselves to joy as they screamed those three words “HELL F*CK YEAH” at a level that would have been heard by my mum at Norfolk Island.

Delving into each of their three albums throughout the 16-track set, the performance was yet another reminder Violent Soho are now pretty much untouchable in the Aussie music scene…they have their own beer for God’s sake!


Where does Violent Soho go from here? Who knows. How many bangers will their fourth album have? I’m sure a lot, but who knows how many. These questions will be answered in the future, but I think the Mansfield dudes deserve to sit down for a while and sip on some Stone and Wood East Coast Crushers after the year they’ve had!

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Photos by Vincent Shaw