Clowns celebrated their new album by tearing Max Watt’s to shreds, literally

Clowns celebrated their new album by tearing Max Watt’s to shreds, literally

Max Watts Melbourne
Max Watts Melbourne
Max Watts Melbourne
Max Watts Melbourne
Max Watts Melbourne
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Words by Christine Tsimbis
Photos by David Harris

It was a hectic set that's for sure.

The relatively small yet edgy space of Max Watt’s was crowded with people, excited fans who were there to witness Melbourne-based punksters Clowns do their wild thing onstage.

The first act to warm up the night was Würst Nürse, who ripped open audience wounds through their sheer punk rock fury. Private Function then unleashed their mayhem, their devil-may-care attitude blazing throughout their entire set.

After a fierce set from Ecca Vandal, Clowns emerged soon after, jumping straight into ‘Bland Is The New Black’, the opening track of the band’s new album Nature/Nurture. People started cheering and jumping at the fast-paced riffs, intensified by vocalist Stevie Williams’ screams.

‘Nature’ was next, and the band’s unbridled joy at the success of their new album was evident – after all, they did get signed by Fat Wreck Chords. However, Clowns then took a trip down memory lane, playing ‘Destroy The Evidence’ and ‘Never Enough’ with plenty of raging enthusiasm. Many longtime fans of the band were fuelled by their nostalgia of these tracks, forming pit circles and bouncing with exhilaration.

Clowns stepped back into the spotlight of their new album with ‘Freezing In The Sun’ and ‘I Shaved My Legs For You’, a roughed up track about the hidden truths that hide behind the closed doors in Brunswick East. ‘1:19’ and ‘Prick’ drove the band into a frenzy, with Williams punching the air and headbanging along with the other band members.

Williams is a firecracker and at one point during ‘I Wanna Feel Again’, he crowd-dived, his willing fans catching him as he thrashed and screamed the lyrics. The mayhem of the entire set was contagious – everybody in the pit was thrashing about, as they were transported back to the underground punk era of the ’90s.

It was awesome seeing how much the band connected with the audience; Williams would take a swig of alcohol and then pass the bottle to the crowd. He then got into the moshpit, high-fiving and hugging random punters. His approachable nature can be a stark contrast to the fiery persona he radiates with the band onstage but that’s not a downfall rather a strength in accessibility and togetherness.

Clowns would scale things back on occasion but all-in-all they were a tornado of wild disarray, projecting pandemonium even when softer tracks such as ‘Nurture’ and encore ‘Soul For Sale’ came to the fore.

This was a performance to be remembered with fans begging for more even after the set was finished. With their burgeoning fanbase and growing stature, Clowns have only reached the base camp of their potential – it will be exciting to see where they take things from here.

Highlight: Williams’ crowd-dive during ‘I Wanna Feel Again’ – it was epic!

Lowlight: Nothing.

Crowd favourite: ‘Nature’.