w/ Regular John, Mint Chicks
03.02.07 @ HiFi Bar, Melbourne, AUS

Never tell Joby J. Ford that being a punk rocker is an easy gig. During The Bronx’swhirlwind tour of Australia as part the Soundwave Festival, Ford somehow managed to severely damage his pelvis. A lesser man, or perhaps a saner one, would have cancelled the rest of his tour dates and been on the next plane back home to LA, instead the lead guitarist gritted his teeth, rolled out a wheelchair and continued to rock out; a fact for which the lucky few that turned up at the HiFi Bar on a Friday will be forever grateful as they got to witness one of the finest punk rock acts going around in action.

The night got off to a flying start with some strong support acts. Regular Johngave a good acquittal of themselves as they warmed up a crowd that was slow to build, while the front man of the Mint Chicks channeled his inner Cedric Bixler as he thrashed and danced like a madman.

But this night belonged to The Bronx.

Watching these blokes in full flight is akin to seeing a cyclone tear through a country town; such is the reckless abandon with which they play. The only thing that remains incomprehensible is how Ford is the only member carrying serious bodily wounds. The star of the show is undoubtedly lead vocalist Matt Coughtran. When he wasn’t dancing on stage, he was hurling himself headfirst into the mosh pit as he crowd surfed his way around the venue.

In the face of such energy and enthusiasm it was impossible not to get caught up in the excitement and the punters lapped up every second of it, responding with a furious energy of their own. It also didn’t hurt that The Bronx is comprised of more than competent musicians as they belted out one frantic track after another, “History’s Stranglers,” “Heart Attack American” and “Notice of Eviction” being among the standouts.

After an hour and an encore that all seemed to finish up way too quickly, The Bronx took their leave, wheelchair in tow, to catch a flight to Perth where they were scheduled to play the following afternoon. Amidst all the exhausted euphoria and sweaty high fives, the crowd slowly filed out onto Swanston Street knowing they had been a part of something truly special.

For those who weren’t at the HiFi on March the 2nd, they can only pray that The Bronx return to these shores as soon as possible, so that they too can experience the tour de force of modern punk rock that is The Bronx live.

Photo by Carlisle Rogers

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