The Gooch Palms ripped Yah Yah's a new one with an electrifying set
Stadium-sized singalongs, crowdsurfers galore and unexpectedly spectacular covers were on the menu when The Gooch Palms stormed through Yah Yahs
Tonight’ll be the last time we ever see The Gooch Palms play at a venue the size of Yah Yah’s. What the two-piece garage rock’n’roll outfit lack in band members, they make up for in enormous onstage energy. Leroy Macqueen and Kat Friend are a powerhouse live. Modestly armed with nothing more than a guitar, floor-tom and snare, the Newcastle bred, now LA-based act attract swelling crowds each visit, thanks to their exceptional energy and onstage charisma, which is at times outlandish, but always a delight. To put it simply, The Gooch Palms are too big for Yah Yah’s, which is why tonight’s show was so special.
They were joined by two of Melbourne’s finest acts, The Nugs and Dumb Punts, who worked the crowd up early with their catchy-as-fuck punk rock tunes. Dumb Punts’ Chiller and Space Waster are nothing short of belters, and the band were the perfect fit for the bill.
Walking onstage with a slab of Melbourne Bitter in hand, The Gooch Palms received a hero’s welcome from the super-eager crowd, whose energy didn’t subside till well after stumps. Opening with track Living Room Bop from their most recent effort, Introverted Extroverts, the scene for the night was set. Moshing and stage-diving ensued, which would be a constant theme throughout their set. Macqueen’s vocals are a force – his crooning is up there with the best of them. His vocal power was demonstrated with the song You, where he showcased the incredible versatility of his pipes, that are equal parts Joey Ramone and Frankie Valli, and let’s not forget, Whitney fucking Houston. The band beckoned for some audience participation, which resulted in a surprisingly powerful stadium style singalong back and forth between the crowd. Their rendition of Tomorrow from fellow Novocastrians Silverchair sent punters ape-shit. While a tongue-in-cheek take on the Australian staple, their version is arguably better than the original.
The Gooch Palms have managed to preserve a hella-loyal cult following since their inception way back when, so older numbers like We Get By and Hunter Street Mall from their 2013 release Novo’s elicited a glowing response from the crowd, while Don’t Look Me Up and Ask Me Why received an equally feverish reception. As an unplanned encore, the band launched into Blink 182’s Dammit and the number of stage-divers clocked 53, with Macqueen himself bringing the total to 54. Not that we were counting.
By Matilda Carthew
Highlight: Watching Macqueen put the boot into an overzealous crowdsurfer who tumbled onto the stage one too many times.
Lowlight: That wanker in the hat.
Crowd Favourite: You.