I honestly believe the best kind of gig is a comeback gig. A band returning to the loving embrace of their hometown after slogging it out and making it big overseas is a joy to be a part of. The whole atmosphere is different. It’s like the city is throwing a welcome home party.
Clubfeet were overjoyed to return to such a warm reception in Melbourne. They brought their chilled, 80s dance vibes to Ding Dong Lounge as well as friends Collarbones and the adorable and effervescent Chela, who features on their hit single Heartbreak.
Chela opened the night. I’m proud to announce I have a new girl-crush. She’s just a skinny Melbournian twentysomething in seapunk gear, with a self playing keyboard and lone, affably awkward guitarist, but she really owned the cramped Ding Dong stage. She brought her chilled brand of 80s influenced synthpop to a sparse but enthusiastic audience, sweetly meshing with the Clubfeet sound we would hear later.
I have to admit that I skipped Collarbones. From a distance, I felt their atmospheric, entrancing syth sounds would have been better played first. It slightly broke up the energy of the evening.
Clubfeet took the stage at around 11 with a subdued anticipation, with the meek professionalism of a small band who have spent the last two years proving their worth. The beauty of this show was that for this crowd, they didn’t have to prove it. They were already loved.
They kicked things off well, taking the audience from London to Capetown to Aculpolco, their sweet synth pop created some hazy tropical vibes. This five-piece are multi-talented wizards of sound, swapping instruments after each song like an expertly rehearsed game of musical chairs. It’s fascinating to watch two musicians squishing up to play a half-size synth duet, and play it well.
The high point of course was Heartbreak, performed live with Chela, a rare exclusive treat for the hometown audience. The pining call and response of that song was excellently done and there was a certain air amongst the audience, an understanding that we’d witnessed something special.
Welcome home Clubfeet. We’re glad to have you back.
Photo by Elliot Lauren for Pages Digital