Client Liaison have never done anything by the rule books. The dynamic indie-pop duo have been delivering innovative and funky live shows since debuting in 2014 and over the years their shows have only got bigger and crazier. To celebrate the release of their new single ‘Survival In The City’ they wanted to hit the road but in classic Client Liaison fashion they decided to do it a little differently. So instead of just hitting some theatres across the country they decided to create their own travelling music festival. Yes, you read that right. The birth of Expo Liaison followed and saw them delivering a unique festival experience like no other that visited Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane. The 7 hour festival boasted an epic line up including Client Liaison, John Farnham, Alice Ivy, DJ John Howard, KON, Luke Million feat. KLP, Total Giovanni and No Zu. An impressive and eclectic line up that perfectly represented their diverse and nostalgic sound and brand.
Wrapping up the tour in Brisbane, there were slight worries as grey skies darkened the mood, rain turned the grass into mud and a Facebook alert was sent out saying gum boots were the recommended attire for the day. But there was nothing to fear as the skies started to clear up and the grounds started to dry up before Alice Ivy took to the stage. Hot off the back of the release of her debut album ‘I’m Dreaming’ earlier this year the Melbourne singer, songwriter and producer delivered a highly energetic and contagious set full of euphoric vibes. She ran on stage with her contagious beaming smile and started jumping, dancing and banging her synth pad. Her live set highlighted her production skills by bringing her album to life with synths, samples, drums and guitar which she all played herself. It’s very DIY and cool to witness as you can see just how much work goes behind her sound. Songs like ‘Touch’, ‘Be Friends’ and ‘Chasing Stars’ had the crowd singing and dancing along unanimously with the size of the crowd rapidly growing throughout her set as people curiously walked into the tent to see why everyone was going crazy. She is an artist whose stage presence continually grows every time I see her and tonight was the most comfortable I’ve seen her performing. As the crowd were exiting the tent after her performance everyone was talking about she didn’t seem to stop jumping the whole hour she was on stage and it was true. The girl loves her cardio.
Total Giovanni were up next and instantly had a massive crowd to witness their energetic and groovy set. With the whole band dressed in white jumpsuits they launched into a set that heard them delivering their singles ‘Your Light’, ‘Can’t Control My Love’, ‘When We Break’ and ‘Comes In Waves’. Their set was riddled with sound issues but instead of letting that deter the Melbourne five piece they kept going and showed true professionalism. Their vibe was fun, their sound was super groovy and they had the crowd singing and dancing all the way through.
The festival had a very boutique feel to it with the giant tent being the centrepiece whilst a bar, woodchopping, live ice sculpturing, a white limousine you could take photos with, shopping and free bumper cars revolved around it. There was a very uplifting and fun vibe that circulated the grounds as everyone was running around smiling, dancing and enjoying this little festival experience. They band also had a pop up store for their deluxe clothing line which was really cool and allowed fans to see these funky designs in real life.
With the arrival of the headlining act quickly coming, the tent filled up as KON delivered a DJ set full of nostalgic throwbacks to keep the crowd hyped up. Tracks from the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Madonna, Beyonce and Kriss Kross perfectly set the mood, But it wasn’t long before Client Liaison appeared at the back of the stage in amongst a haze of smoke with a countdown rapidly going from 10 to 1. As the stage lit up and fireworks alerted the beginning of the show they instantly went into the groovy ‘Canberra Won’t Be Calling Tonight’. Joined by a full live band and a troupe of dancers you were instantly drawn into this colourful and nostalgic world that they have created for themselves. Lead vocalist Monte Morgan oozed this charm and charisma that never had you wanting to look away. ‘End Of The Earth’, Where Do We Belong’, ‘Wild Life’ and covers of INXS ‘Need You Tonight’ and The Preatures ‘Cruel’ had the crowd instantly dancing. Whilst the strong choreography that Morgan and his back up dancers were performing had you in absolute awe the whole time. Early on in the set they took a moment to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and even performed a little didgeridoo solo that had the crowd going crazy. “What a time to be alive” Morgan screamed, and he was right.
The level of production was impressive with a massive LED screen with colourful visuals along with fire and co2 bursts regularly surprising you. “Can you believe we actually put on our own fucking festival?” Morgan exclaimed to the excited crowd. With a quick costume change he was back on stage with the funky ‘Feed The Rhythm’, Survival In The City’ and ‘That’s Desire’ which perfectly added to the festival atmosphere. They sneakily premiered their new single ‘Strictly Business’ which hears the band taking on an INXS influenced sound that intertwines with the aesthetic of Michael Jackson. But after non stop dancing they decided to strip it down briefly for a mash up of ‘Queen’ and ‘Feeling’ from their 2014 self titled EP which was a nice little throwback moment.
With the anticipation rapidly filling the air the band finally welcomed their special guest John Farnham onto the stage which had the crowd erupting in screams. The Australian icon launched straight into ‘Pressure Down’ before excitingly thanking the crowd for welcoming him so ecstatically on this tour. ‘Age Of Reason’ followed before a euphoric performance of ‘You’re The Voice’ became the moment this country needed following a rocky week of politics. With punters on top of shoulders screaming the lyrics back at the band, you couldn’t help but notice the massive smile on Farnham’s face which was so humbling. His powerhouse vocals left the crowd impressed and highlighted the fact that he definitely has still got “it”.
As the band thanked the crowd and walked off stage with John Farnham you could tell that they weren’t completely finished yet. Morgan ran back on stage with his fourth costume change of the night and belted out ‘Off White Limousine’. Thanking the crowd once again for coming out ‘Hotel Stay’ and ‘World Of Our Love’ closed the show with confetti filling the air, making it one unforgettable night. The band could have easily just toured your standard venues and sold them out but instead they created a unique experience that marked themselves as one of Australia’s most exciting acts.
Check out the full gallery captured by The Raveyard Photography HERE;
Photos by Blake Lewis