REVIEW: The Chats
It’s the hottest day of the year so far and on this sweltering Sunday evening the Leadmill is heaving. For their first ever visit to Sheffield, Queensland’s finest The Chats have apparently brought the sunshine with them and the Leadmill is a slicked sweatbox – just like it should be.
Advertised support The Chisel have pulled out at the eleventh hour, so it comes as a bit of surprise to some of the audience (us included) when in their place stride local punksters, Mouthparts. They walk onto stage lead by the drummer who, like a budget Lucha Libre, sports his customary tinfoil helmet.
After introducing themselves even more confusingly as ‘The Chisel from London’, they blast into their set at breakneck speed and a good majority of the sold-out crowd are immediately sold on them. Even if, when they do eventually tell us who they are, no one quite catches it, leading to a lot of post gig chatter in the Spar around the corner concerning who they actually were. Anyway, it’s Mouthparts, lads. remember the name (this time!).
With all that cleared up for the flaming galahs among us, we move onto our headliners, Ozzy punk powerhouse The Chats, and strewth (Sorry. Not sorry!), did they put on a show! This might sound like damning with faint praise, but The Chats are very good at what they do. It’s not rocket science. It’s not even all that clever half of the time. But it’s bloody good!
There’s a real throwback feel to The Chats, not in a nostalgic, naval gazing this has all been done before kind of way, but more in a you don’t see gigs like this anymore kinda vibe.
If you’ve been paying attention since they formed in 2016, it doesn’t really come as a shock, but it’s still thrilling to witness songs coming at you with little room to breathe, one replacing the last relentlessly. The sweat soaked mob braving the front of stage were sweaty before they even got in here, so must be dangerously close to dehydration by the midpoint, but, undeterred, they pogo, mosh and crowd surf their way through a set which is peppered with bangers from the diminutive three-piece.
Fan favourite tracks like Smoko, Identity Theft and 6L GTR lift the roof off and Bus Money’s hook ‘all I need is a buck or two.’ gets the crowd’s vocal cords loosened. Somehow, amidst all this frenetic energy, there’s still time for singer Eamon Sandwith to take a minute stick the boot in to ‘the cunts tryna shut this place down.’ Quite Eamon, quite.
There’s no messing about with an encore, and when the set plummets to an abrupt end, we scuttle out into the Sunday evening haze with Foreigner’s I Want to Know What Love Is ringing in our ears. It’s played at an ear bleeding volume that is somehow louder than the hour or so of high energy punk we’ve just been happily battered with.