29 Sep 2015

Live review: Miss June at Moon Bar

11:07 am on 29 September 2015

Miss June finished off their New Zealand tour over the weekend. We were there to see what went down.

Miss June.

Miss June. Photo: George Rump

Last Friday, Auckland garage punk band Miss June finished off their national tour at Moon Bar in Newtown, Wellington. Coming off the back of an excellently raw gig at an Eyegum Collective party, the band returned to Wellington with a few more fans in their back pocket as well as a lot more buzz around them and their new EP Matriarchy.

It took them a while to even get to the stage with three more local acts supporting them. Relative newcomers Maple Syrup (who seem to be playing every free gig going – nice) are, obviously, as sweet as their name. Although they’re still a little uncomfortable onstage, they kicked off the night’s main theme of fun, loud and fast well.

They were followed by Destroy All False Metal, led and dominated by Joel Cosgrove. Their charismatic take on the only true metal, 80s thrash, got what little crowd had arrived early up front. Their repartee typically includes social justice-y, issue-based songs and in an inspired move, the band hooked in an extra member (Hannah Beattie) onstage to rage against creepy guys.

Wellington favourites Tuff Wizard rounded off the support acts with their poppier, slightly more sophisticated take on the night’s pop-punk. They announced it was their last show for a while, which sucks, because they’ve really nailed their four-part singing.

By the time Miss June took the stage, the bar was nearly at capacity. In their last performance of the tour, the band were comfortable and professional, despite the three-chord brattiness of some their work. Drummer Tom Leggett was on particularly excellent form, but it’s hard to match frontwoman Annabel Liddell. She responded in kind to her audience, and filled the room with a properly carnal punk energy.

The band’s material is overtly concerned with gender inequality, demanding attention to it, and Liddell is its perfect front. She moans her lyrics and plays guitar in a visceral, completely unself-conscious way without even thinking about it. While this is not an entirely new type of frontwoman (see: Riot Grrl), seeing it happening live in Aotearoa in front of a pretty female, very queer crowd is really, really refreshing.

It’s a shame the set was so short, but when your songs are too punk to be over three minutes, you need a little more material – something I’m looking forward to.