Last night the Porps launched their debut EP, 'God Yeah!' at the Tote and oh boy was it a BIG one.
Supported by Alice Skye, Electric Toothbrush and Face Face in the front bar and Shrimpwitch, Loobs and Cable Ties (wtf how?!) in the band room! There was certainly enough boogieing to at least mildly structurally damage the Tote. The loveable, familiar and dishevelled stage of the bandroom was transformed, covered with metallic streamers, fairy-lights and rainbow bunting. 'I've never seen The Tote look so pretty' one of the Shrimpwitch witches exclaimed.
Porpoise Spit haven't been gigging for years, but with the dedicated fan base they've already established it sure feels like it. Presale tickets sold out early on Friday night, leaving only 50 spots available at the door on the night :
For those who don't know, Porpoise Spit is the fictional town in Muriel's Wedding; a movie about the power of friendship, being unashamedly yourself, doing you and ABBA. Each band played an ABBA tribute song, while MC'ing duties were shared between the lovely, intimidatingly cool, and hilarious Mill O'Sullivan and two actual porpoises.
There are few shows I've seen at the Tote and actually made my ears hurt, but earplugs were a must at this one. Shrimpwitch, LOOBS and Cable Ties were just as loud and powerful in the large bandroom as they are in smaller venues. Elly's booming and beautiful voice, supported by Mill and Ivy's harmonies and Dom's driving beats, completely filled the space, submerging everyone in an ocean of good toons.
The night came to a climax as the Porps were joined on stage by friends, members of other bands and a few stray members of the crowd to play Karl Stefanovic at The Logies Drunk. It was the moment we all had all been waiting for and needless to say, the porple completely lost their shit and their shirts, in the most wholesome way possible.
The lightheartedness and irreverence of Porpoise Spit's lyrics and their theatrical stage presence is a huge part of why they're so much fun to watch, but last night's performance drew attention to a few deeper messages. The song Milk Teeth, is Mill O'Sullivan's emotional tribute to those living in marginalised and oppressed areas of society who are often neglected by mental health services, particularly trans, queer and NGC youth who have to tough it out alone. Fittingly, after introducing the song Mill called 'All Queers to the front'.
Throughout the night Shrimpwitch's refrain of 'I'm not here / for you to leer' and Cable Ties 'Tell them where to go' ran through my head. After another week of all-to-common allegations of sexual assault and violence in the Melbourne punk scene, this event gave me hope that despite the shit we always deal with, there is support and there is love. Jenny from Cable Ties put it more eloquently in a Noisey article: 'I always think of that tiny little section of the world that we've managed to carve out for ourselves where everything is a lot less screwed up. I think it's this sanctuary where people actually give a shit about each other.'
The toxic testosterone elements of punk rock can get in the bin. Porpoise's EP Launch was an important night for me in the realisation of a new era. Rosé Rock is here, it's queer, it's pink, political and punk as fuck. It will be your best friend if you let it.
If you missed the EP Launch, you can still experience the wholesome punk magic of Porpoise Spit at the next Bush Fundraiser
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