Photos by David Harris
Client Liaison might just be Australia’s party band of the decade.
Epitomising our generational obsession with the ’80s, Client Liaison are a group firmly rooted in the kitsch, glam and daggy hairdos of that fondly-remembered decade. But their live shows take this one step further. For anyone of the lucky punters at their sold-out show at The Forum on Saturday, they would have experienced a time warp to the future sheen of the past.
Originally making a name for themselves with their profoundly aesthetic music videos on YouTube, singer Monte Morgan and keyboardist/producing partner Harvey Miller are Melbourne boys all the way through, even basing their operations in their hometown. So it was no surprise that they could fill out The Forum, with their show garnering one of the most joyously rowdy crowds you could ever see at the venue.
The night began with the band, bar the duo themselves, entered onto the lushly-lit stage in full Tron-style outfits, with lapels and the edges of their jackets glowing fluoro blue. With an all-seeing eye projected onto the backdrop, Morgan and Miller triumphantly appeared atop a raised platform at the peak of a synthesised crescendo. They burst into a foot-stomping suite of songs that seamlessly transitioned into each other.
Morgan shined on stage. Quite literally, he was almost blinding as his jacket, pants and shirt were either studded with mirrors or shining silver, brightly reflecting back at the audience wherever he stood. Each bandmate could not keep their feet to the floor, dancing around every edge of the stage with applaudable vigour and outrageous dance moves.
And the audience weren’t shy of getting involved too. The crowd throbbed with movement almost constantly, with punters sitting, and on some occasions even standing, on others’ shoulders to sing their hearts out to the eponymous chorus of ‘Wild Life’.
In preparation for the performance of their latest single ‘The Beat Supreme’, the group donned their beige and khaki get up and came out walking with metal detectors in their hands, just like in the accompanying music video. The level of theatricality – as well as the many other costume changes to come – kept things as visually interesting as possible. It was a treat for the eyes.
Massive cheers were given at the end of each song, but some of the biggest were reserved for the saxophonist who would pop on stage to serenade the crowd. ‘Off White Limousine’ was a disco anthem, resplendently performed with a graphically designed limousine projected behind. As the encore leapt into its first moments, arguably their most popular track ‘World of Our Love’ arose before the single for which this tour owes its name to, ‘The Real Thing’, came to the fore.
The crowd could have continued dancing to these tracks all night. But just as it looked as though they were finished, the band exploded into a heartily-met rendition of Kool & the Gang’s party tune ‘Celebration’.
Capping off a perfect night, it can definitely be said that, in the words of Monte Morgan, Client Liaison really brought the ‘space-age hysteria’ to The Forum.
Highlight: The overwhelming power of their time-travelling moustaches from the ’80s.
Lowlight: Some never-before-heard tracks didn’t hit as hard as their well-known tunes.
Crowd favourite: Too many to choose, but undoubtedly ‘World of Our Love’ went off.