Everything retro seems to be in, with an abundance of music being released emulating the styles of yesteryear. One such group trying capture the 80’s nostalgia is the Melbourne founded Client Liaison. Promoting their 2016 album, it was Adelaide’s turn to experience The Diplomatic Immunity Tour. It was to be the group’s final night of the tour, anticipation only heightened as it was a sold-out affair.
You felt the era upon entry as all attendees were greeted by a gorgeous vintage “off-white” limousine parked alongside the venue. Accompanied with patriot Australian flags, fans would recognise this as the band’s preferred means of transport.
To set the tone, first up was Adelaide’s very own Luke Million. It was if the crowd had stepped into a time machine as Million turned The Gov into an 80’s discotheque. With a mixture of floor thumping, old-school electro heaters, he had the crowd moving from the get go. A highlight of the set included his latest collaboration Back to the Rhythm featuring the talented Sam Sparro, getting people out of the beer garden and on to the dance floor. This was contrasted nicely his deep and dark rendition of the popular theme of Stranger Things with a red light show to match.
Million continued to treat his home city bringing out vocalist Auriel, utilising her lush tone on a few songs including the catchy Light and Sound. Million was a crowd pleaser for sure, with showmanship and keytar solos that dazzled the audience. The set came to a beautiful end, with the definite fan favourite Arnold to close, that quite literally brought everyone to the floor.
After a short break it was time for the main act with fans itching for their arrival. The Melbourne four-piece opened the show with a slower burning intro leading up to the impact of Diplomatic Immunity’s first track Canberra Won’t Be Calling Tonight. Showcasing the theatrical side of Australian politics, the irresistible anthem introduced the band beautifully. This was paired with the introduction of the band’s outlandish suits and tasteful ‘Australiana” themed stage design, including custom water coolers, ensuring a memorable opening.
Throughout the night (along with multiple outfit changes) the band, Monte Morgan, Harvey Miller AO, Geordie Miller and Tom Tilley treated the crowd with a smorgasbord of 80’s synth-pop floor fillers that simply put a smile on your face. Crowd favourites included classics from their self-titled EP, Feed The Rhythm and Pretty Lovers, alongside newer hits like Where Do We Belong and Hotel Stay.
Client Liaison’s showmanship is undeniable with synchronised choreography and a larger than life performance winning over the entire room. They had every audience member involved, whether it dancing, screaming lyrics or trying to catch a rose or a cold Foster’s, the band’s known poison.
Second to last was, arguably the band’s most popular tune, Off White Limousine. If the band’s popularity was in question, doubters were literally silenced by the deafening chorus with assistance of the 700 capacity crowd. Championed by Triple J, this was easily the biggest moment of the night, mixing smoothly with a cover of the Savage Garden classic I Want You, which received an overwhelming reception with the crowd joining in on the “Ooohhh I want you” chorus.
After a well-deserved rest, the band’s two song encore consisted of Queen followed by the euphorically dark yet groove driven World Of Our Love to close the show. Client Liaison are a must-see act of 2017 and an act that takes you on a cosmic journey through the world of 80’s pop culture. As a first timer at a Client Liaison show, their professionalism and energy was something to behold and up and coming musicians should use them as a benchmark and something to aspire to. Not knowing a lot about the group, I had no preconceived ideas on what to expect but having seen it, I very much look forward to their next show in Adelaide.
Review by Liam Kerr