Drenched in beer and slightly dazed, I emerged from the mosh pit with my life intact, ready to recount a wild night with The Chats. The Australian punk rock icons, unleashed an explosive performance that blurred the line between a concert and a riot.
The Chats @ Roundhouse
Taking the stage at the historic Roundhouse in London, The Chats brought their signature blend of chaos and comedy to a UK audience. Ever since their legendary single Smoko transformed Aussie slang into an international catchphrase, they have ascended to punk rock stardom. Now, on a UK and European tour to promote their latest album, Get Fucked, their raucous tunes are infused with hilarious and memorable lyrics that have become their trademark.
Comprising a three-piece band hailing from down under, with Eamon Sandwith on bass and vocals, Josh Hardy on guitar and Matt Boggis on drums respectively, they have attained the status of Australian icons. As a fellow Australian, I can safely say that The Chats are just as synonymous as koalas, kangaroos and the Sydney Harbour Bridge is to our national identity. And if they aren’t known by their stage name, they are otherwise known as the guys that sing Smoko. Their infectious song has morphed into something of a national anthem, encapsulating the carefree spirit of Australian youth.
Now the band are bringing their high-octane punk rock energy to new audiences and sharing their unique Australian culture with the world. While their lyrics have often revolved around quintessential Australian experiences and slang, Get Fucked showcases a more universal appeal. They will have you jumping, singing PANIC ATTACK with their punk rock onslaught which might as well induce an adrenaline-fuelled panic attack of its own.
But before the Aussie band took the stage in front of 3,300 people, the crowd was treated to a surge of energy from the UK’s very own The Chisel. Merging a variety of punk traditions to create a fresh and distinctive sound, they wasted no time in igniting the crowd.
The Chisel @ Roundhouse
Their anti-establishment lyrics sung by frontman Cal Graham and his fierce performance style united the room, serving as a cathartic release for everyone. But it’s not all fiery aggression with Cal. He slipped us a cheeky smile in between songs as he noticed the unleashed crowd he created. It’s the perfect punk performance. After all, what is a punk performance without a raging crowd?
The Chats finally made their long-awaited entry. No strangers to chaos, Earmon, wearing a Budweiser beer shirt, addressed the crowd, “Before we start, I just wanna say, look after each other,” fully knowing the chaos that would ensue. In a split second, I found myself drenched in beer and sweat. Some daring young guys were crowd surfing while others threw their clothing at the boys on stage.
For an exhilarating hour, the boys channelled their inner teenage angst, mercilessly mocking authority figures and anyone trying to dampen their exuberance. All they desired was to revel in youthful antics and have a damn good time. It was a show where you had to leave your seriousness at the door and surrender to the pulsating crowd that would jostle you and your beer sideways while belting out lyrics like, “All I crave is a good pub feed!”
In the midst of a Chats show it doesn’t matter if you know every word or if you’re seeing them for the first time. Let the energy of the crowd carry you, shed your inhibitions and surrender to the madness of it all. Just remember to hold on tightly to your beer or drink it before you enter the mosh pit!
Live review and photography of The Chats @ Roundhouse by Jacqueline Edmont on 27th May 2023