25 Years of UNITS: Regurgitator tear up the Forum with friends DZ Deathrays, Custard and more

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25 Years of UNITS: Regurgitator tear up the Forum with friends DZ Deathrays, Custard and more

words by noah redfern

Five relentless bands, a room full of frothing fans and a night of musical madness.

Featuring a set of brilliant supports in Glitoris, Butterfingers, Custard and DZ Deathrays, the rock ‘n’ roll value on display on Sunday was glorious.

Promising fan favourites, a full album and a lineup of rocking regulars, Regurgitator’s UNITS – 25 Years of Unit In One Stream of Sound and Colour tour was unquestionably a blast from start to finish. 

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Most rock shows give us one or two good supports, to give the punter value for their investment into a full-priced ticket. But to see five great bands for a moderately priced Forum ticket? That’s what we like to hear.

The energy at the theatre on Sunday was fantastic. Mostly forty-somethings, the crowd was a lovely bunch, full of nostalgia and stories of the old days.

I spoke to several concert-goes about tales of catching Regurgitator in Hobart, Newcastle, Sydney and Brisbane. Punters wore shirts detailing tours from all eras and the energy was high. One woman told me about how underrated Custard are for a solid five minutes – it was a real fan show for sure.

Kicking off the night were Canberra femme punk rock band Glitoris. Blending humour with politically-charged lyricism and dynamic drumming, Glitoris have a definitive sound. 

Their fantastic track The Policy covers Glitoris’ mission statement: “You gotta be better than them to get ahead, and you gotta work harder than them to win your bread”. Detailing the struggle of sex, gender and inequality that non-men deal with every day – it’s badass punk music.

Following up, Butterfingers delivered something between Red Hot Chilli Peppers and The Streets. The tight funky band dropped banger beats while rapper and singer Eddie Jacobson told tales of everyday misadventures. They were a great band to hype up the crowd and get the punters keen. All hands were in the air by the end of their set.

Next, we caught the classic ’90s Brisbane alt-rock band Custard. Like an Aussie Pavement, Custard are loose and fun – they’re a dad band through and through. An opposite of the ego you see in so many legacy bands, Custard had a fantastic dynamic with the audience.

Making jokes about experimenting with new tunings when they fell out of tune and laughing about old covers from long ago, Custard were a true deep dive into Aussie rock culture. I really enjoyed Girls Like That and had a great time with their cover of Video Killed The Radio Star.

DZ Deathrays were the penultimate band on the lineup and – up until Sunday – the only band I’d seen before. This was the best set I’d ever seen them do. Rocking through their classics like Gina Works At Hearts and Like People, their heavy octave pedal jams blasted us out of this world. The highlight was their ending on the track Paranoid, where insane psychedelic visuals paired with the freakout track.

Finally, Regurgitator took the stage to deliver a career highlight set. Wearing yellow boiler suits, the trio launched into a short set of non-album classics beginning with I Sucked A Lot of Cock To Get Where I Am and Blood and Spunk. These tracks were backed up with amazing glitchy visuals highlighting the Y2K aesthetic of the band’s late ’90s and early 2000s era.

The Gurge then launched into the Unit album in full. Bringing on their keytar player in a bunny rabbit suit and choosing to shuffle the album to keep the audience on their feet, they treated us to all the favourites. Black Bugs was amazing live, with the catchy synth line becoming a singalong moment for the crowd.

! (The Song Formerly Known As) blew me away and reminded me of how great at genre bending the band truly is. The real moment that got me dancing my heart out was Polyester Girl. Imagine if Kraftwerk and Gorillaz wrote a track for the Barbie soundtrack and that’s what you’ve got.

Of course, hopping back on stage for a quick encore after the album, Regurgitator gave us I Wanna Be A Nudist and closed the show with the absolute rocker Kong Foo Sing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a throwback show this good in my life and I honestly don’t think I ever will.

Make sure to catch Regurgitator on this tour and stay up to date for their next one by heading here.