By Luke Voogt
Aussie rock legends The Living End lead a dozen-strong line-up of alternative bands in a series of gigs at Torquay over summer.
Barwon Heads drummer Andy Strachan was thrilled to play on Boxing Day at Torquay Hotel.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve done (pub) gigs,” he said.
“Everyone’s generally pretty loose and ready for a good time – I think more bands should do it.”
The gig kicks off an Australian and New Zealand tour for the multi-ARIA-winning band.
“I’m super excited – there are waves almost everywhere (on the east coast),” Strachan said.
“We should do this as an annual event – go on a little a surfing trip.”
The band recently released new album Wunderbar, featuring the single Don’t Lose It.
Jimmy Barnes, Kacey Chambers, Eddie McGuire and Ray Hadley appear in the track’s video clip parodying talent shows.
“It was the most fun we’ve ever had doing a video clip,” Strachan said.
“Generally, with video clips, there’s a whole lot of waiting around but this one was just hilarious from start to finish.”
TV presenter Tom Williams, a good friend of Strachan’s, turns the satire up to 11 as a corny talent show host.
“He’s such a charismatic guy and he doesn’t mind the taking the piss out of himself,” Strachan said.
Living End guitarist Chris Cheney plays Boy George-esque judge ‘Valentino’ while bass player Scott Owen plays a corporate producer.
“I don’t care what they do, they can fart into a lunchbox,” Owen says in the clip.
“I just want someone who’s going to make money.”
Strachan said “all fingers were pointed directly at me” to play third judge, the Delta Goodrem-inspired Alexis Dream.
Molly Meldrum plays an Elvis impersonator, while The Wiggles’ Murray Cook and Puppetry of the Penis also make appearances.
“We had to blur some of that,” Strachan said.
“There’s an adults-only version somewhere.”
The number of celebrities “snowballed” once Cheney phoned Barnes for the video, Strachan said.
“He says, ‘whatever you need mate, I’m there,’ in his Jimmy voice.
“We’ve done a lot of stuff with Jimmy in the past – he and Chris get along really well.
“If you had said 20 years ago you’re going to be mates with Jimmy Barnes from Cold Chisel… it’s so surreal.”
The Living End finished Wunderbar in a few “intense” months of recording in Berlin, Strachan said.
Cheney wrote most of the new album, which Strachan described as high-energy and “sonically different to anything we’ve done”.
“Chris has a song-writing gift … but we all chip in.”
The band would still play classics like Prisoner of Society, Second Solution and All Torn Down at Torquay, Strachan said.
“Otherwise you get bottles thrown at you. Playing and having everyone sing along is incredible – it doesn’t get old.”
Tonight The Chats kick off the Torquay Hotel Summer Series, which features Didirri, Confidence Man, Slowly Slowly, The Beautiful Girls, Kim Churchill, San Cisco, Ziggy Alberts, A Nice Day to go to the Pub, Cosmic Psychos and Coastal Jam.