The Cosmic Psychos are the legendary antithesis of The Birthday Party, where The Boys Next Door went fucking arty (as TBP), the Spring Plains (TCP earlier incarnation) went ‘fuck this arty shit’ and the motor-cituy guitar-driven punk sound that has stayed forever with The Cosmic Psychos was born.
The current lineup still features originator bassist and vocalist Ross Knight, whilst Dean Muller on drums has been in the band since 2005 and former member of The Onyas, Guitarist John McKeering has been hanging around since 2006.
With 10 albums, (11 if you count 1985’s 9 songs EP Down on the Farm) to their credit, a slew of fans including Eddie Vedder, The Prodigy, Nirvana producer Butch Vig and The Melvins, and a bevy of classic songs that span their career: Nice Day To Go To The Pub (2010), Fuckwit City (2015), David Lee Roth (1987) and the controversial Lost Cause (1989) their influence far outweighs their albums sales.
The last decade (excepting the Covid years) has seen the band touring the world, somewhat reinvigorated by the release of the indie tastemaker-riddled 2013 doco about the band – Blokes You Can Trust, continuing to live up to their reputation as Australia’s most influential and infamous beer fueled punk band, and finally back after last being here in 2017, visiting their antipodean cousins.
Mt Maunganui Two-piece Punk & Rollers Grown Downz are already playing as I arrive just after 8.30 pm. last seen opening for Eagles of Death Metal, playing a monolithic drone that got lost in The Powerstation’s vastness. As their set deepens, they sound much clearer and less muddy. Still high energy, it’s obvious that their schtick suits smaller venues, as the vocals are clearer and the music much more dynamic. This dynamic aspect is a feature of the band I would hope to see and hear more of, as sometimes the barrage of guitar/drums/vox gets lost.
Five-piece punk rockers Dick Move have a taonga in their front-person Lucy Suttor, she is stage confident, vocally coherent and highly energised. Dick Move’s twin guitarists struggle through the set, the sound is muddy, and their constant tuning, detuning and retuning is reminiscent of last week’s Brian Jonestown Massacre show.
BUT, they soldier on, Dick Move are punchy, punky, tight and deadly dark, as their driving songs capture the crowd. Their ‘sixth’ member, a crowd member, starts them off ‘1234’ several times, for a Sunday night crowd, their ardour and response is impressive. A barrage of short songs is exciting, reminiscent of hearing the legendary ‘Let Them Eat Jellybeans’ album for the first time. I can’t wait to see them opening for Foo Fighters and OFF! in the new year.
The Cosmic Psychos
Three Australians walk into a pub, and start their set with Pub…
It’s already loud, it gets louder as Nice Day To Go To The Pub causes an eruption up front, somewhere in between Ross Knight is quiping and baiting the audience as he searches for a crowd member under 60. In fact there is a range of ages represented tonight, but yes there is a behemoth of old punks and reprobates on show tonight, but that doesn’t mean the moshing is any less energised.
As the trio blaze through a set of about 9 songs, maybe 10, Knighty, Macca and Deano are a well-oiled machine, beer-driven, never missing a beat (well there was that one miscue). Their brand of punk chaos is rife with F-bombs, and audience members singing along, as they launch into an orchestrated pun for Fuckwit City, it gets rough, and the elders move back and the young’uns take over.
These punk rock legends have exceeded expectations with the motor city-punk energy, and once again the moshpit is thrown into a crowd-surfing frenzy as Lost Cause caterwauls throughout the room, EVERYBODY is singing. The Cosmic Psychos reach deep as they roll-out David Lee Roth, the re-envisioned live version is a fitting finale, and as we end the night with the vision of Macca’s (John McKeering) fine physique burnt into our ID.
Like a Holden HT GTS 350, The Cosmic Psychos are a classic act, but 40 years on, unlike Holden, they are still around, still catching the eyes (and ears) of beer drinkers.
Nice Day to Go to the Pub
I’m Up, You’re Out
Dead in a Ditch
If You Want to Get Out of It
David Lee Roth
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