Private Function leave us green and grinning at the Tote

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Private Function leave us green and grinning at the Tote

private function
Photo: Dante Griffith
Words by Dante Griffith

Last week, Private Function tore up The Tote in a spectacular fashion rarely seen in this era of caution and general malaise.

From green paint to a major cease-and-desist from one of the largest companies on earth, this show had it all. The show was to celebrate the band’s Europe tour starting early next month and the Private Function crew decided on a Looney Toons theme with mascots and music to fit.

The theme seemed innocuous and wholesome, but on the morning of the show Private Function received a cease-and-desist letter from Warner Bros. 

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Private Function isn’t new to bureaucratic legal shenanigans; they have received multiple cease-and-desist orders over the band’s lifespan, but this latest threat was by far the most daunting. Jitters aside, the band decided to push on with the gig.

Serpette and Spunk opened the night up before Private Function took the stage. Inflatable pool toys flew across the stage before the band members sauntered on, opening the set loudly and with an incredible burst of caffeinated high-jinx. The band is known for their short but wildly energetic songs, which create the perfect recipe for a sweaty, hot and rough mosh pit. 

This night is a clear testament to the band’s energy and passion, at no point in the night did I ever feel bored or have any inkling of what was to come next. Rather, there was a constant and pervading sense of ‘what the hell is going on?’

Around the middle of the set, lead singer Chris Penney ran off stage, re-emerging momentarily in sloppy green pain. He’d earlier hinted that the band’s legal headaches meant he wasn’t able to ‘green out’ but in a flash Penney appeared dripping green before leaping headfirst into the audience, covering everyone and everything he touched in wet neon green paint. 

Upon reflection, I’m not sure if it’s because I was a Private Function virgin, or because I haven’t been around the traps enough, but this is the first time in my life I’ve had to dodge a half-naked man covered in green paint screaming about Albury Wodonga. 

Through the night the mosh became increasingly intense, culminating in lead singer Penney grabbing audience members onstage and before long just under half the crowd rushed the stage for the final songs of the night S.O.S by ABBA and Fortunate Son by Creedence Clear Water Revival. 

I was blown away by the passion Private Function brought to The Tote – they played with a passion that is rare to see. I was impressed by how the instruments blended together in a way lacking in many punk shows; instead of a muddy mess of sound, each instrument had a clear purpose and I could hear every sound with clear definition and power. 

Private Function is by far one of the best bands that our country is offering, if you get the chance to see them live, without question you must absolutely go! Just don’t wear your best duds.

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