Words By: Laurent Shervington
The Benjamin Witt Quartet (made up of double bass, saxophone, drums and a sharp Witt) started the night off superbly with some experimental guitar-funk that appeased the assembling crowd.
As the wailing pitch-shifted guitar notes on opener ‘Private Execution’ filled the room, Liddiard’s untethered approach to manual guitar vibrato felt akin to a belligerent wrestling match – each note stressed to it’s maximum – to the awe of the Rosemount crowd. Mouths stayed consistently agape as the band rolled straight into ‘Taman Shud’, clearly a fan favourite from ‘Feelin Kinda Free’ with many joining in singing the sneering anti-tabloid, anti-anti-Australian romp.
From here the band dialled the year back to 2008 for the tumbling riffs of ‘The Minotaur’, complimented by slick bass guitarwork and some genuinely terrifying facial expressions by Liddiard (perhaps seeing a Theseus look-a-like in the crowd).
Powering through with a no bullshit approach for many of the tracks, the band did recruit the help of a trio of female vocalists from the band Harmony to assist with ‘Then They Came For Me’ and ‘To Think That I Once Loved You’, with the latter of the two in coming as somewhat of a breather to the nihilistic dystopia built up by the band both lyrically and sonically (those guitar tones!).
Latter highlights consisted of an uproarious take on classic track ‘Jezebel’ and the sprawling guitar duelling of ‘6 Ways to Sunday’ (which still hasn’t aged since it’s release 13 years ago).
As the band finished their main set and headed out the back for a brief intermission, the crowd were unrelenting in their cheers with shouts of “Come out here Gazza!” echoing in front of the stage.
All in all Liddiard’s band sounded and interacted markedly different from their show last year, finding a new confidence in their electro-beat injected sound that has honestly given the band a sprawling canvas in which to colour (think Bob Ross painting a Mishima setting after one or two Ritalin’s – yikes!)