Clowns: Live at Musik and Frieden – Reviewed

Aussie punk band Clowns landed at Kreuzberg’s Musik & Frieden venue on Monday night with the subtlety and precision of a bull in an origami class.

With four albums out in the past four years, Clowns’ youthful appearance belies a wealth of experience on the circuit. This year’s Nature / Nurture was released internationally by the Fat Wreck Chords label, while the band continue to run their own label-agency back in Oz.

They’ve even launched their own Hot Sauce brand.

The five-piece group arrive onstage at M&F to a groove-laden funk track. The next hour, however, is anything but soulful. Vocalist Stevie Williams shows he means business by starting the night in the pit beneath the stage while his four bandmates provide a blistering backing track from the get-go.

The band provied a blistering backing track from the get-go

Every song is nailed with unrelenting energy. Williams crowd-surfs across the room, aiming kicks and punches at the swinging disco ball above. Bodily fluids – and occasionally solids – fly through the air.

Songs from Nature / Nurture feature heaviliy in every sense of the word. The frenetic ‘Bland is the New Black’ goes down a storm, with Williams’ grating vocals at times reminiscent of early noughties American party-punks Billy Talent.

‘Soul for Sale’ also brings a high point of the night, before the eerie intro to ‘I Wanna Feel Again’ builds up to a crescendo of chaos in the breakdown. ‘Prick’ is just plain fun and ‘Never Enough’ delivers something for fans of the back catalogue.

Williams announces the encore by buying a round of beers for the Nosebleed Section with a note he’s just found on the floor. He leads an extra hand (pun fully intended) for bassist and back-up vocalist Hanny J, who shows her punk rock credentials by playing with her right wrist in a cast throughout.

You can listen to Nature / Nurture now through all the usual channels.


by Luke Davis

Luke began writing about music for his university paper while studying in England’s cold, post-industrial North. He became a regular reviewer of new releases, live shows, theatre and film, before moving to the big, grey blob of London. He has written indie and electronica reviews for indieBerlin since arriving in Berlin in 2017, while pursuing other freelance writing, editing and communications projects (and struggling to learn German). You can follow Luke here and read his recent reviews here.

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