Reviewed on Saturday August 10
“Shut up, I can’t afford a tuner,” were the first laconic words out of frontman/bassist Ross Knight’s unshaven face. The crowd rumbled and jeered at him as he fiddled around with his guitar on stage for 20 minutes at the start of the set. The wait encouraged an amusing interchange between the Psychos and their fans. Drummer Dean Muller quipped we would be refunded our ticket money and Knight, when he finally got his bass ready, told us all “what a fucking carry-on that was. The biggest tune-up for the biggest load of shit you’ll ever hear”. Everything uttered was met with a roar of laughter, cheers and flying beer cans. The Psychos weren’t fazed. These guys really epitomise ocker Australianness to excess. Lyrics about boozy benders, cars, tractors, football, sheilas and schnitzels. A bunch of laidback Aussie larrikins from downtown Kyneton in Victoria. Think Paul Hogan spliced with Pro Hart.
30 years of solid, unforgiving dirty punk rock hit the Metro like a giant fly swat in the face. The Psychos’ notoriety for drinking pubs dry and pervasive influence on the local grunge music scene hasn’t affected them one iota – they’re down-to-earth delinquents, playing their trademark yob rock with passion and energy.
Despite the age of the crowd, fierce moshing and thrash dancing still battered the floor. The Psychos’ sound is raw: Knight’s deep, fuzzed-out bass, John ‘Macca’ McKeering’s pounding wah-wah guitar and Muller’s tight drumming chops each combine to pack a formidable punch. Knight and McKeering played the final song ‘David Lee Roth’ with their shirts off, McKeering unashamedly exposing a well-earned beer gut and rubbing his sweaty nipples with his fingers ala Austin Powers. Muller joined them at the finale to bow, drop their faded denim and gracefully moon us all goodbye.
The Cosmic Psychos come across as your everyman; just three farmers who love to rock out, and are doing it tough just like us. Knight proudly lets us all know he bought a Harley Davidson decades ago, but he still owes $17K on it to this day. The Psychos’ dry and vulgar sarcasm is endearing, too. Like the Australian outback, they are rugged and unforgiving but with a colourful history. They should be made the unofficial symbols of Australia, like Vegemite and the Big Banana. A great show from a great bunch of blokes.
BY KYLIE FINLAY