The relationship between The Delta Riggs’ Michael ‘Monte’ Tramonte and The Preatures’ Jack Moffitt is… well, you could say they’re the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of the Aussie indie music scene.
The banter between the two musicians is quick, witty, and hard to penetrate if you’re not on the same wavelength as they are.
Of course, such a quickness of comedy makes for a wonderful working relationship, and the duo will be combining their electric characters on stage for Young Henry’s Rock & Roll Circus in May, under the moniker Monte and Jack.
The pair are very eloquent, which is the nice way of saying very chatty. The nonsensical banter is endearing, but when you can manage to rein them both in to talk business, they surprise in their insight and excitement for the upcoming show.
It’s pretty appropriate that the event be called a “circus” because the duo are exactly that. “It is kind of a circus,” says Tramonte. “It’s always going to be a circus,” adds Moffitt. “The age-old adage of herding cats being about rock‘n’roll is exactly true … You should see us try and rehearse.”
Young Henrys asked Tramonte to put together a group especially for this event, which they’ve already showcased in Sydney, with Tramonte not hesitating to add Moffitt to the lineup. “He’s quite easily one of the best guitarists in rock‘n’roll,” Tramonte says of his friend. “Did you like that?” Tramonte asks Moffitt. “I just gave you a nice nod.”
“I thought that was very warming,” Moffitt returns.
He takes the reins, saying, “Elliott [Hammond], the singer in my band, he’s one of the greatest drummers I know, so the three of us with Adam Delagrotto, it was pretty organic to put together the band.
“We put a bunch of fun songs we want to play together, and we’ll just see what happens.”
Monte and Jack will mostly perform covers. “The last one we did had a bass theme,” says Moffitt. “And it was a vague theme and basically expanded. When you get guests involved and you put a song list together and they grab at things and make suggestions, often it ends up being better because they’ll rock up with a song that’s better for them than the one you suggested.”
“It’s more of an alternative bangers vibe,” interjects Tramonte. “This time we’re just throwing it to the guests to decide what they want to do, it’s coming together.”
The Young Henrys Rock & Roll Circus is an excellent representation of the strength and talent in Aussie music culture – and the event is totally free. A free event does, of course, have benefits for both the musicians and the people who are able to go along and experience such great live music for the high price of nothing.
The Rock & Roll Circus comes as the third instalment in Young Henrys’ Best Served Loud series that featured performances from Jade Imagine and Gena Rose Bruce in March. Chasing Ghosts’ very own Jimmy Kyle then performed at The Standard Hotel alongside Hanny J and Luke Yeoward in April.
“I think it should happen more,” says Tramonte. “It’s just a fun fucking night out.
“Young Henrys are also really good at supporting live music and that’s really their shit. They genuinely do care and support a lot of venues and groups.
“I guess it’s an adage of when you hear of the ‘70s and you hear of the Travelling Wilburys and Tom Petty,” says Moffitt. “All these people coming together that are mates playing their own music. It’s getting together out of the usual stuff you’re doing.
“The vibe translates as a punter – it is something that’s really fun as a muso, just to jump on stage and play music. It’s a good opportunity to start appreciating what a good song can do. It’d be good to play other people’s songs. Like some of the guests’ songs.”
“We should do something like that,” says Tramonte.
“We should,” Moffitt returns.
“You bring a song, one of yours and we’ll do a cover.”
“Yeah, you too. Then we could do a Baddies song.”
“Let’s do it.”
“Yeah, let’s just do that now.”
Young Henrys’ Rock & Roll Circus comes to the Northcote Social Club on Wednesday May 15. It’s all free.