Review by Jordan Sibberas, photography by Jack Haar
Opening for a highly anticipated headliner is never easy, especially when you’re scheduled to play well before the main act and the venue is almost embarrassingly empty, but that’s exactly what Osaka Punch did, and boy did they kill it.
On July the 5th, The Fall Of Troy, heavyweights from the States came out in support of their latest record, OK, bringing in tow an eclectic mix of support artists. Amongst those was Melbournian artists Closure In Moscow and the prog-driven instrumental trio Meniscus. Opening up the whole night however was the ballistic Osaka Punch (for a review of their debut record, click here), who are known for their unpredictable songwriting and even more chaotic live performances.
For the uninitiated, Osaka Punch fuse funk and 70s rock with some smatterings of metal, jazz, punk and ska, as well as any other style that pleases them. The result is records like Voodoo Love Machine, a record that one would expect to hear if James Bond had joined the sex pistols and time-warped them back 50 years. So when the chance came up to see them live, I dived on it. And it did not disappoint.
The setlist included a few cuts off of Voodoo Love Machine such as Battleworm and Eat Red Carpet, that had the smatterings of the crowd that knew to witness them singing and headbanging along. As well as this, they debuted a new song, Stonk, that was definitely a highlight of the setlist. Sizzling with their trademark wit and sense of rhythmical groove, the new track is an indicator of the creative potential these guys are sure to tap into in the future. Driving the performance with his ever-sharp wit was frontman Jack Venables, who shimmied his bum and danced around mid-song and threw witty words into the crowd between them. However, their performance was more than just superficially entertaining; all of Osaka Punch were tight and nailed their respective roles across all the various sounds the band is capable of producing.
The rest of the night went off without a hitch, with the entire cohort of bands producing a magical night, but Osaka Punch especially delivered a wonderful performance. Their newest album featuring Stonk is set to drop in the not too distant future, so keep your ears out for that!