Psycho Circus 2019 at Crowbar Brisbane (Brisbane, QLD)

23 November 2019 at The Crowbar

It was a very balmy night as I descended to the basement of the Crowbar, Brisbane’s own home of the heavy, a venue that’s played host to strip clubs, S&M dungeons, and Goth clubs. Thankfully they had the air-con cranking as tonight was Psycho Circus featuring quite a selection of heavy bands and their enthusiastic and costumed fans. Ringmasters for tonight are Darkcell, hailing from the Gold Coast, and in support are fellow Goldie act Diskust, Sunny Coast band New Clear Vision, Brisbanites F.U.C., Kaosis who flew in from New Zealand, and lastly Brisbane’s own Tai Sui.

First up were Diskust. Even though they were opening to a sparse crowd they still delivered a raw and brutal set. Aggressive riffs with the front-man’s harsh vocals warmed up the punters in the cool basement of the Crowbar. As their set drew to a close Diskust balanced it all with a ballad [still brutal though] then launched into their single, Maniac to end on a loud and heavy note. 

After a quick interlude were Nu-Metal act New Clear Vision. Dressed in matching Hazchem suits they played to a crowd that was beginning to increase and match tonight’s theme. No doubt the sun had gone down as devils and skeletons had appeared for the Psycho Circus. Just like in their support of Combichrist, New Clear Vision began with the sirens of an Australian Chernobyl then launched into a set marked by discordant heavy guitar grooves and aggressive rap metal vocals performed the whole time in a gas mask.

After a quick bite to eat it was back down to the Circus for Forests Under Construction, a band that features Brisbane’s own infamous Toddy Hansen and a lack of clothes. Playing to a crowd that was now mostly women, F.U.C. performed a blistering set of Thrash Metal in nought but two stretched out mankinis. With songs about dolphins, FUCheads, and dick massages the duo turned the evening to the circus part of the theme and ended with a hilarious and participatory song about elephants. 

A wall of smoke announced the beginning of Kaosis’ theatrical set. Tight digital drumming and heavy riffs were accompanied by three vocalists. The front-man delivered his rapping and metal vocals from the crowd as much as onstage, whilst the two women of Kaosis amped up the horror of Psycho Circus with multiple masks, props and their own amazing brutal vocals. After a final number that featured creepy blood-soaked dancing the band filed out through the crowd. 

Second last were the second Brisbane band, Tai Sui. As a special treat for the Psycho Circus they came out in matching Joker outfits which leant a certain intensity to the performance. The front-lady’s vocals went from quickfire rap to a brutality that matched the band’s heaviness. A highlight of the set was an amazing heavy cover of NIN’s We’re in This Together which had the whole crowd singing along, and a last number that saw Tai Sui unleash even more aggression to end with a nostalgic outro of the 60’s Batman theme.

And lastly were the Psycho Circus’ ringmasters. Despite hailing from the Gold Coast, Darkcell are Brisbane’s adopted sons and their show at the Crowbar was definitely a homecoming. After a piano overture they launched into their signature spooky Industrial Metal with renditions of Burn the Witches, Reign of the Monsters, crowd favourites Un-United, Six Hundred & Six-Six, Freakenstein, and ending on Hail to the Freaks. As hosts of the Psycho Circus they unleashed a theatrical set of heavy guitar solos, brutal bass, tight aggressive drums, atmospheric programming, and the Dracman’s devilish wail. 

The 2019 Psycho Circus at Crowbar Brisbane was a spooktacular night of diverse heaviness populated by and dedicated to us freaks and monsters which certainly showed that for us Halloween is all year round. 

Line-up: Darkcell, Tai Sui, Kaosis, F.U.C., New Clear Vision, Diskust

Reviewer: William Ferguson