You know something is good when a venue sells out two shows on consecutive nights. This is what Client Liaison managed to accomplish on the Perth leg of their Diplomatic Immunity headline tour.
When Luke Million dislodged what I thought was a regular keyboard from its stand, revealing it to be a keytar, the energy from the audience went off the charts. It elevated the performance from a high energy spectacle to a cosmic affair. The afroed aficionado shredded the ivory and tar instrument with aplomb, creating a sweltering sound scenario of pumping drumbeats and clever use of vocal looping. This had the ultimate effect of causing the crowd to being amped into the stratosphere. Million was a frequent flyer, traipsing around the stage as though he had just come into millions. His artful beat creation of swelling bass and soaring synth was capped off by his seemingly limitless stamina, as he jumped up and down like a gymnast in heat. The burgeoning crowd revelled in live renditions of Stranger Things and Midnight. The highlight of Million’s performance was his ensnaring of the crowd in a display that brought back memories of Aerobics Oz Style. Here, the devilish deliberator left the comfort of his music station to play instructor to the sweating, swaying mass before him, getting them to do a good few squats in time to the music. Wrapping up with a new single, the man made millionaires of all, as all were bathed in his golden aura of electronic brilliance.
I could easily spend the next 250 words gushing about the wardrobe of Client Liaison frontman Monte Morgan. That would, however, leave a pitifully small amount of room to write about the divine chaos that was the musical experience. Clad for a while a pink pastel suit, then for a while more in an… ancient (Aztec? Egyptian?) garb, Morgan captivated audiences with his boisterous manner and unrestrained joy. Right from the get-go, Client Liaison’s performance was captivating; a sound desk in the style of a parliamentary desk, featuring an Australian flag and complete with archaic desktop computer. This unique setup was accompanied by a short video of various parliamentary sittings. From this display alone it was clear that the night was going to be something unforgettable. A chorus of kookaburras erupted as Client Liaison opened with Canberra Won’t be Calling Tonight, and continuing through much of their recent album ‘Diplomatic Immunity’, the band furthered the 80s Australian motif by cracking out a case of Fosters to divvy up amongst the audience. It was a surprising and quaint gesture that made the band feel down to earth, in touch with its audience. It was unclear whether Morgan’s unique dancing style and stage presence was rehearsed or just came naturally, but the intensity and gusto with which he and the rest of Client Liaison owned the stage was a great spectacle. Sporting a bassist (Triple J’s all-white clad Tom Tilley) that was basically a future-retro Joe Wilson, CL oozed coolness and funk, Morgan’s high-pitched melodies complemented by the consistent thrum of bass and whine of expressive synthesiser waves. Scurrying around the stage like a cassowary in a can, Morgan played off his bandmates’ stoicism with ease and brevity, while Harvey Miller AO was the glue that held everything together, his devotion to seriousness admirable. The highlight of the night was undoubtedly World of Our Love, played, oddly enough, as the encore. It wasn’t the end, not really. It was only the beginning. We had witnessed the warmth of their spectacle, and though the performance may have ended with that last rattle and hum, its presence, the welcoming to the world of their love, would never dissipate.