Client Liaison @ Mojos Bar Fremantle – 18/03/17 (Live Review)
“International in flavour, cosmopolitan in style”, Melbourne’s Client Liaison are on a urbane lofty high with their album Diplomatic Immunity like 1980’s Alan Bond cruising around the Sydney harbour in his Swan Lager airship.
Certainly having sold out all 3 shows in WA one can argue that the duo of Harvey Miller AO and Monte Morgan have created a world fans are escaping to. Like being 54 weeks deep in Neon Talk’s Instagram it’s a dizzying wistful place where pastel beauty and hi-tech possibility reign supreme.
Joining them on the Diplomatic Immunity tour is Miller’s brother, guitarist Geordie Miller, and as one girl described him, ‘the hottest man in radio’ Triple J’s Tom Tilley on bass. Rounding out the homage to 80s tropes was Adelaide producer, and President of the Steve Pocaro fan club – Luke Million.
With a “I’m gonna play some synthesisers. Let’s party!” Million, surrounded by his Korg, drum machine, vocoder and a fabulous keytar laid bare a set that showed his Daft Punk and Kavinsky influences. Starting with the disco beat driven Archetype, Million got the crowd to whip out their best 80s moves. Having seen Million last year he’s certainly took it up a notch since last time. Rarely standing still he bopped from one instrument to the next on Light & Sound, and swung his drumstick like he was chopping wood as he attacked his drum pad during new single Fear The Night, and the massive Stranger Things remix .
Client Liaison have come prepared with a stage design that would make any office worker jealous. A plethora of green ferns, and 2 gargantuan water coolers on each side of the stage acted as greek columns to the temple of the Aussie entrepreneurial business spirit. Then with the kookaburra intro of Canberra Won’t Be Calling Tonight the stage was set for Morgan and Miller to arrive resplendent in their structured grey, and pink suits that would give Sonny Beckett a run for his money. Coming up the rear for Where We Belong was Geordie Miller and Tilley adorned all in white and exuding more icey cool from behind their wayfarers than Val Kilmer in Top Gun.
Their music spins around electro-pop and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis production stylings and it’s evident the visual expression of their music is very important and moreover it’s delivered earnestly. During Feeling, as Morgan sung about wanting ‘these feelings to grow’ and in Hotel Stay, ‘you want it, you got it’ he moved and gesticulated around the microphone like he was possessed by Prince from Purple Rain.
In a wise move the sentimentality was kept at bay as the band moved into more dance party mode with Feed The Rhythm and That’s Desire. But when Morgan went and changed into his intergalactic disco getup of gold pants, matching chest shield and sunglasses to sing a banging version of Armand Van Helden’s You Don’t Know Me… well if you weren’t dancing by this stage there was something very wrong with you. After a round of Fosters for the audience, courtesy of Tilley and Geordie Miller, peak party synth mode was reached with the sassy Off White Limousine. Complete with strutting dance moves from the band and sexy poses, Client Liaison have an undeniable bond that is entrancing.
There is are real Aussie aesthetic to Client Liaison – genuine but not taking itself too seriously – they have managed to make what would be dated sound entirely fresh, even when performing Savage Garden’s I Want You, they own it. Then with the irrepressible World Of Our Love for encore, the foursome closed out the show having successfully immersed the audience in their world for a short while. A world so charming that it had everyone following their lead to rise up.
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