Live Review & Gallery: The Victims w/ Chimers and Hellebores, Crowbar Sydney 021223

Before he became a Hoodoo Guru, Dave Faulkner founded seminal Perth punk outfit, The Victims back in 1977 in his hometown of Perth. After over 40 years of on again off again, it became time to bid a final farewell and they did so in style. Three shows only; beginning in Perth, then Melbourne and I was lucky enough to be invited to capture their last ever show at Sydney’s Crowbar, in Leichhardt.

Ably and effortlessly supported by an Evil Tone Records lineup; Hellebores and Chimers (Wollongong), Sydney was well and truly primed for a huge farewell. Opening band Hellebores treated us to a few new tracks from their upcoming album and they were a definite tease for the release that’s sure to please fans new and old. Gina Smithaco and Glenno Smith were in fine form, the creative couple front their 4 piece punk band and juxtapose each other nicely with Gina’s animated performance and as always eye catching outfit balancing her husband’s laid back yet confident performance on lead guitar.

Chimers from Wollongong have certainly become the flavour of the month lately, landing mega supports with The Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon and as I’m writing this, they’re opening for You Am I. The two piece husband and wife duo interplay skillfully. Padraic on lead guitar and vocals and Binxy on drums; this two piece know how to fill a room with rhythmic sound, their Irish charm and wit weaved in between tracks.

Familiar faces graced the stage as the headliners greeted their audience. Frontman Dave Flick (Faulkner) known best as a Hoodoo Guru, James Baker recognisable from Beasts of Bourbon and Ray Ahn from The Hard Ons and Nunchukka Superfly are The Victims (Ray was asked to join in 2014 replacing original bass player Rudolf V – Dave Cardwell). The trio were joined briefly onstage by Peter Blackie Black (The Hard Ons) to perform Teenage Dreamer and to me that was a standout moment. As told by Ray, back in 1980 Blackie brought over a copy of The Victims album and completely blew both their minds, inspiring them to form their own band, so to see them all onstage together was indeed special and especially poignant being the last ever show.

The Victims set was lively and full of punk energy, belying their age – close your eyes and you were taken back to the late ’70s albeit with more skillful and well honed musicianship. I loved how relaxed they were and the interactions between band members were a joy to witness. The short tour of just three shows was fitting for a band that only released 1000 copies of their debut single, Television Addict and 500 of their 5 track EP some of which had hand drawn sleeves – you can imagine how highly collectible these are. Dave’s frontman skills honed long and hard after many years of touring combined with Ray’s driving bass and James’ steady groove showed off why The Victims have retained a loyal following over the past nearly 40 years. If you missed it then you really and truly missed out.

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