mclusky* @ Badlands Bar gets 8.5/10

mclusky* @ Badlands Bar
w/ FOAM, Last Quokka
Wednesday, January 8, 2020


Like many others, I never had the chance to catch mclusky* live due to the band calling it quits in 2005. So it was with great anticipation that I took to Badlands, knowing I would finally get my chance in 2020, albiet, potentially 15 years too late.

Last Quokka

First up on the night were locals Last Quokka, who at the time were just about to launch their new Colony single. The band’s brash politically charged punk ethos suited the mclusky vibe well, and the band’s unique take on Australian issues is certain to continue to win them more fans.


Next were FOAM, who despite a relatively quiet 2019, were red hot and raring to go. The quartet, which now features keyboards, navigated their way through a set of dirge-y grunge and post-rock numbers like Shellac-esque Get On Board, while still finding time for their poppier numbers like I Could Milk Myself.

With a relatively short gap between bands, it was not long before mclusky* took the stage and delved into their opener; fuck this band, one of the band’s few slower numbers (and certainly a good slogan for a t-shirt as evidenced by the band’s sole merch item for the tour), the lilt of the song increased the anticipation in nearly sold out venue. And with everything on tender hooks, the distortion and drums kicked in and the band were making their way through classic tracks Dethink to Survive, Without MSG I am Nothing, Collagen Rock and What We’ve Learned.

Stopping to check in with the crowd and introduce new recruit Sayell, who showed off his vocal talents in delivering Kkkitchens, What Were You Thinking?, absolutely nailing the track with aplomb. With the band and audience now loosened up, Falco jumped into the slide-guitar driven 1956 And All That, with its chorus advising to “keep your killing clean”.


Before commencing Rice Is Nice, Sayell spied Badlands drink specials and wanted in on the action. “They’ve got a coffee cocktail over there. Anyone buys me that… I’ll pay you back next time I am in Perth,” to which Falco quickly added “you know this is his first time on a plane”. The trick worked though, and Sayell could be seen sipping on more than one of these cocktails during the rest of the set, stating “these really go down a treat” with a broad grin.

As the mid-point of the set approached, the band were only just getting started, unleashing a trio of fan favourites; Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues, The Man Will Not Hang and Alan Is A Cowboy Killer with Falco dryly stating “the hits keep coming” after looking down to his setlist and frowning humorously.


Next up was Forget About Him, I’m Mint which Falco next introduced as “the song that Damien refers to as cardio” and was quickly followed by You Should Be Ashamed Seamus which Falco ironically offered up to the band’s original bassist. The band’s guitar tech, Lance, joined them onstage for Seamus and stuck around for the next track, Chases, allowing Sayell to stage dive and deliver his vocals aloft thanks to a sea of hands.

Diving into the lurching The World Loves Us and is Our Bitch, Falco’s stuttering screams pierced the rock solid heavy-duty barrage of bass, guitar and drums, before unleashing the rollicking whouknow, and then it was time for the finale, To Hell With Good Intentions.


With the band dripping in sweat, about to leave the stage, hands went akimbo on instruments once last time and the audience were treated to a sped up whouknow before coming to a final, cataclysmic end. And while we most likely won’t see the band, or Damien’s money for those coffee cocktails, ever again, those there were witness to a nearly perfect example of how to reform, please your dedicated fans and have a tremendous fun, all at the same time.


Photos by Damien Crocker

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