We tag along with Melbourne metal lords King Parrot as they party and tear up stages across Australia (as well as a brief pop across the pond to NZ) on their recent Thrash Blast Grind tour.
All photos by Cam Roberts. All words below by Matt Young.
Friday, February 10th: The Triffid, Brisbane
The troops assembled in sunny Queensland for the first show of tour at The Triffid in Brisbane, and what an awesome venue it is. Owned by John Collins of Powderfinger fame, this venue has it all and is one of the best Australia wide in my opinion. It was the perfect place to get a feed, a cold brew, and get acquainted with our travelling mates for the next few weeks.The Brisbane metal maniacs turned out in full force with a packed house for this first show of tour. Not only that, it was also an all-ages affair, with the rug-rats being allowed access to the venues balcony and starting their very own mosh pit on the top level!
Everyone was undeniably impressed with our US counterparts Revocation who bring to the table a unique blend of death and thrash metal combined with more melodic parts, that added to the value of this tour package tremendously. We couldn’t have asked for a better turnout. It was obvious from the outset that everyone was fired up and ready to bring their A-game to every show. We love Brisbane very much and hadn’t played there for over a year, so it was great to re-acquainted with old friends and bring the craziness back to a city we love and our drummer Todd Hansen’s hometown.
Saturday, February 11th: Manning Bar, Sydney
We arose early and made our way to the airport for the Sydney leg of the tour. This was the first time ever that King Parrot would perform at Manning Bar, and we were not disappointed.
The Sydney fans turned out in their hordes, and it was damn exciting to see. Dave Haley from Psycroptic and I took a punt on trying to put together a great music festival for the more extreme of music fans, and we were undoubtedly rewarded by their commitment to support a grassroots touring festival such as this.
It was a scorching hot day and our exuberant bass player Slatt’s began his daily tradition of sleeping like a log all day on whatever seating was available (1 couch) in a hot and uncomfortable band room. Our tour mates were somewhat confused by this, but it was no surprise to the King Parrot guys who have witnessed this every day on every tour for the last five years. We were gifted an incredible show though, and Sydney legends Daemon Pyre opened the show with their toxic brand of melo-death. It was a perfect pre-curser to a night of mayhem at Manning Bar and one of the most memorable Sydney performances King Parrot has ever had.
Wild from the get-go, killer venue and the faithful Sydney siders, filled to the gills and ready to rumble as always!
Sunday, February 12th: Valhalla, Wellington
After getting to bed at 2am, the alarms sounded at 4am, and we were off to the land of volcanoes and earthquakes, New Zealand.
We touched down with one of the wild and wonkiest plane landings in history, that certainly gave our US tour buddies Revocation a nice little wake-up call, “You’re not in Kansas anymore Revo!”. For the new New Zealand shows it was only King Parrot, Psycroptic and Revocation, so Whoretopsy and Black Rheno stayed home in Australia and awaited our return. We were greeted by Ben the NZ promoter and taken to an aptly titled dive bar; ‘Valhalla’.
The punters came in droves for what was King Parrot’s first ever show in the city. While being a little confused and stand-offish to begin, by the conclusion of the night the venue had been turned upside down in a sea, of sweat, blood, beer and spit. It must be noted that the sound in the venue was incredibly good and both Psycroptic and Revocation showed of their technical prowess to the NZ fans in unfathomable fashion.
Kudos to our sound guy Ean Redman for being an exceptionally talented sound engineer and all-round top dude.
Monday, February 13th: Whammy Bar, Auckland
After a reasonable night’s sleep we trekked forward to Auckland where we trampled the Whammy Bar, another brilliant dive-styled bar.
For a Monday evening, we had another welcoming full house thanks to this abrasive bunch of Kiwi’s, and an awesome fan, all the way from Atlanta in the US, just happened to be in Auckland that night and came along to the show and gifted us some incredible art work. Many of the NZ punters had only ever heard of King Parrot and we tried to live up to our reputation as Australia’s wildest band, and hopefully we delivered. The merch sales, drenched punters, and smiles from ear to ear suggest we did OK.
Tuesday, February 14th: Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
There was no love on Valentine’s Day. None. We arose once again at 4am after two hours sleep, flew back to Sydney from Auckland and then drove to Newcastle to slay the Cambridge Hotel. There’s been some pretty spiffy renovations at this venue, and it has always been one of my favourites to play. The in-house sound guy is an absolute champion too, and has one of the best mullets ever.
We were re-joined by Whoretopsy and Black Rheno at this show, looking bright eyed and bushy tailed while KP, Psycro and Revo looked like death warmed up. While being devoid of sleep and feeling sluggish at best, yet we marched on, and for a Tuesday night in Newcastle it was an exceptionally good attendance.
Some were gifted a good night’s sleep after the show, others were unable to sleep at all while being exposed to what can only be described as an infernal gas chamber from hell. The dorm room we shared that night was horrific, with a chorus of bum-tooters and snorers making it impossible for a light sleeper to even catch a wink of shut eye. Thanks guys!
Wednesday, February 15th: The Basement, Canberra
A loud collective groan was heard as the tour bus rolled into Canberra on a Wednesday, but holy hell, what a great night it turned out to be. There’s a been an influx of amazing turnouts in the nation’s capital of late and it’s great to see the locals getting behind the live music scene again. The Basement as a venue is killer these days too, great sound, good room and brilliant people all around. Our impressive merchandise display was in full effect at The Basement as we took over the entire back wall of the venue and made sure there was no piece of wall left uncovered. The amount of merch we were travelling with was ridiculous, but the metal-heads love their merch and we must deliver. We had a blast on-stage once again and were joined by the ever-impressive Michelle Madden (ex-Tourette’s) for a rousing rendition of ‘Shit on the Liver’. She’s always welcome on the stage with King Parrot and never fails to make us look a billion times more attractive. We’ve got many great mates in the nation’s capital, and with a day off and flight home to Melbourne the next day, the party rollicked on well into the early hours.
Thursday, February 16th: Day Off
Sleep. 24 hours.
Friday, February 17th: Max Watt’s, Melbourne
We were all excited about arriving in our hometown and stoked to have a sold out show at Max Watts in Melbourne. The venue is awesome when its packed and the boys from Revocation got a good dose of what the Melbourne metal scene is all about. They absolutely killed it, and for only their second time in Australia, they have built a loyal fan base which is truly deserved. They are great showmen and an exceptionally talented bunch of musicians that deserve every success that comes there way.
This Melbourne show really had everything going for it: stage dives, crowd surfing, way too many people partying backstage and an ever-excited Jason Peppiatt from Psycroptic smashing apple and pear cider, playing a killer set and grinning from ear to ear all night. Such a loveable chap.
All the boys were in fine form for the Melbourne show, and each band delivered the goods. The only dampener on what was a stellar evening was the in-house lighting girl getting totally hammered before our set. This meant there was often elongated periods of darkness on stage and an audience wondering what the hell was going on. For the most part though, we survived and its lucky we don’t rely on our stunning good lucks to put on a decent metal show. I honestly believe the punters would prefer not to see us. Anyway, moving on!
Saturday, February 18th: Amplifier Bar, Perth
Marching forward to Perth the entire tour party was very dusty after a big night in Melbourne. We checked in at our accommodation and attempted to sleep for a few hours before harnessing the darkness in the City of Light.
Tonight, was a big event as it was Dougy from Black Rheno’s 26th birthday. We made sure the entire tour party signed a card for him with various obscenities and the like being scrawled all over it. Black Rheno are a relatively new and an off-the-hook live act with their brand of sludgy grooves, that have an almost Clutch-esque vibe to them courtesy of front man Ryan Miller’s vocal stylings.
Amplifier Bar is one of those venues that encourages audience participation and tonight was one of the wildest shows on tour. The stage is low enough for the audience to climb on, and they did that all-night long. It was quite surprising there was no injuries, as Perth is notorious for having an ambulance or police car waiting outside after the show. We got Dougy from Black Rheno up for a Happy Birthday sing-a-long during our set, and then launched him out onto the audience for a song-long crowd surf. I think he had a pretty good night, as did we all.
Sunday, February 19th: Fowler’s Live, Adelaide
The grand finale of this epic tour was to take place at Fowler’s in Adelaide for a Sunday afternoon all-ages affair.It’s brilliant the SA government allows this kind of thing to happen, so that the younger audiences can learn about heavy music. Let’s hope this can happen more often around the rest of the country soon.
Local openers Hidden Intent were in fine-form, and blew the crowd away with their slick brand of thrash. A growing audience also paid respects to Victorians, Whoretopsy who have been building momentum as a band for a few years now and were an excellent addition to this tour package.
There was plenty of last night tour shenanigans as the whiskey bottles came out and everyone let their hair down as the last show rolled out. There was plenty of stage invasions during the King Parrot set as well and many a misfired stage dive, with several band members eating shit epically on numerous occasions.
Big props to our awesome [tour manager] Cam Roberts, and our driver Jason Morrison for being all round legends and making sure everything went as smoothly as possible!
Thrash, Blast and Grind was an exceptional tour, and with the support shown by the Australian punters, it’ll no doubt become a yearly occurrence.
On behalf of Dave Haley and myself, thanks for coming out to support it and we’ll see you again soon!