Squidfinger; Circus Murders; Cinema Prague, Metropolis, May 22, 1996

With a vast sea of fresh, frantic faces mingling with the local constabulary for the start of Kiss My WAMI volume 3, the Metropolis atmosphere was, for some, a bitter-sweet occasion. As the new look Fremantle ‘cleaners’ hovered about – badges and truncheons symbolising the new family-orientated Fremantle – the kids put their feet and torsos airbourne for three of the Port city’s favourite nutters.

Squidfinger broke-out their own flamboyant regalia for the show of might, Chris Carpenter bashing and slapping the bass with his trademark cape adding that glittering glee to the awkward occasion. With WAMI award, hyper-glucose cakes powering the winners and grinners, the current Fremantle’s-favourite-(per)sons zoomed through their funky Oysterhead set, wielding their own love-truncheons for the bouncing bodies. Micheal Dean’s flaming guitar antics may have even drawn the fire brigade into the action.

Uncuffed, the erotic Circus Murders schmoozed with dancing fingers and feet threatening to trample Mr Plod. Tonight, not daring to unveil their much talked-about new bizarre performance pieces, the Murders’ hit parade came thick and quick – Confusion In A Spanish Blind Man, Soy, Harry’s Cafe … and ‘bass’ Matt Cheetam even had his long locks unbound for the first time ever. Circus Murders, confounding as ever.

To see Cinema Prague on a huge stage is a real treat. Commencing with the earth shattering Say It’s The Day, well, picture 500 people launching themselves skywards. It was another faultless, note-perfect and textbook-defying performance. And the highlight of highlights? Their late-80s jazzy, death-metal reminiscence called Change. Full of that angst that fuelled those days at The Old Melbourne, maybe a few law-makers present were shown that you can’t bridle music as easily as the venues themselves.

Adam Connors

Squidfinger; Circus Murders, Seaview, December 9, 1995

The psychedelic projectors and joyously-tacky flashing Squidfinger billboards set a truely eerie atmosphere for this particular event, the CD launch of Squidfinger’s debut disco disc. And may I add that The Seaview is a fantastic summer sauna for such scintillating silliness!

In a tempting teaser, those sex machines of unbridled ‘thrash cabaret’, Circus Murders, thrust forth their loins in celebration of the occasion. Forever messing with people’s minds and dance styles, the Murders mellee offered heaps of new material in what I expect will be a long summer of Fremantle gigs and jigs.

Seafood, as part of the new set, is indicative of the new Circus Murders stuff which is getting increasingly crazier with all four members now wired up for multiple vocal bits. The crowd, standing at the edge of the flashing dancefloor, soon threw away any chance of picking the complex rhythms and just went flailing onto the floor in a typically-Freo Bacchanalian frenzy.

Apocalypse Wow, Frantic and the ‘ol faves from the West Street CD put the glitz on the occasion, soon to be followed by the sequinned glam of the main event, Squidfinger’s saucy 70s spectacular – grand entrance and all.

I think I have an idea about those scenes on Countdown now, where the youth of yesteryear (with bad hair) squealed and strutted on the TV studio set to the succulent soundz of Molly’s guests. Yep, Squidfinger took this horrendous fashion and fusion and launched it straight back into the MTV generation’s consciousness, forcing even the most dishevelled bogan to emerge from a dark corner to stomp and grind. Very eerie.

As the drop sheet in front of the band fell, the unrelenting funk bass kicked in to the retro-approval of all present. Punctuated by Spanish bullfighting tunes (Conquistador) and a sickening, almost-funny Black Sabbath ‘classic’ (Paranoid), the Squiddies were vying for both dancing and humour points from the masses. Happily, they got both from the sisters and brothers in the house (who had better watch out or they will turn out like their parents).

Squidfinger really do have a monumental sound, but then again I am a helpless sucker for overwhelming bass rhythms and funk flirtations. Ace.

Adam Connors