THE CHATS @ Freo.Social gets 6.5/10

The Chats @ Freo.Social

w/ Dennis Cometti and M.S.O.L.
Thursday, May 20, 2021


Going to a gig it’s expected you might cop a little push and shove in the crowd, especially if you choose to jump into the mosh pit. And it’s guaranteed that going to see The Chats there will be a mosh pit. What is not okay though is a man standing on the outskirts of said mosh purposefully pushing a woman who is also standing on the fringes right into the commotion; without warning, with aggression, and with force. There are so many reasons that this is alarming, not the least of which is touching someone without permission and potentially putting them in harm’s way. But what really grinds this reviewer’s gears is that this man made a woman, my friend, feel unsafe in what should be an inclusive environment. This encounter really tainted the whole gig…  But what about the bands?


If M.S.O.L. (Mongrels Shit Outta Luck) appear familiar it’s probably because you remember them in their previous incarnation as Mascara Snakes, albeit with a slightly different lineup. These legends make driving DIY punk. It’s the kind of high energy, two minute song, kick-in-the-dick music a gig like this needed to warm up the crowd. Special shout out for their rendition of No Limits, the 90s techno anthem that they rebirthed as a rock song.

Dennis Cometti

Everyone’s favourite mullet-sporting, Export-guzzling, footy fanatics with instruments, Dennis Cometti, opened their set with No Hat No Play setting the tone for the next half hour of sing-along-able and highly relatable songs. Short and fast with noodly riffs, these dudes are super fun, especially their gang vocals that had the whole crowd yelling “I hate the CBD” or “we’re on the sauce.” They played old faves like Footy With The Boys and new faves such as WAXIT and earned the utmost respect for declining chants for a “shoey” by saying “shoey’s weren’t even funny ten years ago!”

The Chats

The Chats, despite still being best known for their viral hit song Smoko, have since backed up that hype with their musical chops and released tongue in cheek banger after banger. They attract a feverish crowd who get pretty feral. But let’s be honest, that’s the band’s brand; bit bogan, bit punk, bit Rattus from The Ferals ferrying a VB and sporting speed dealers. Usually, it’s a really good time, as they work their way through anthemic lyrics like “all I want and all I need, all I crave is a good pub feed” and straight-up ocker takes on STD’s (actually The Clap was a glaring omission from the setlist). However, tonight felt more hectic than normal and far more aggressive. It even seemed like the band weren’t having as much fun as usual.

The Chats

Speaking of setlists, Drunk and Disorderly was a highlight, and of course, Smoko got a big reaction from the crowd. They dipped in and out of all their albums with songs like the rowdy 4573, Identity Theft, and Nambored, a dedication to their hometown. Plus we heard a new track Six Litre GTR, the title alone keeping on-brand with the band. Most of the punters were stoked; there was plenty of crowd surfing and a circle pit people were flinging themselves into. But it was hard to shake the feeling The Chats weren’t that excited to be there. The overall atmosphere of machismo was actually pretty gross and in all honesty, after our run-in with the ass-hat that violently pushed my friend into the mosh unwillingly, we weren’t excited to be there either. A lot of time during The Chats set was spent burning in that searing heat you can only feel when you are truly angry.

The Chats

It’s so maddening that while the music industry is on fire right now and abusers are finally being called to account, in a gig capacity where music fans should feel united, there are still people that think predatory behaviour like this is acceptable. It’s not. Keep your hands to yourself and stop being shit. And to that absolute clown we encountered, leave women alone at gigs. We just want to have a good time, the same as everybody else.


Photos by Karen Lowe




Comments are closed.