Client Liaison @ MOFO 2014 Interview
It was truly a surprise and pleasure to have seen Melbourne’s own burgeoning Australiana pop spectacle Client Liaison perform at MONA FOMA (The Museum of Old and New Art: Festival of Music and Art) in January this year. MONA FOMA (or MOFO for short), a peculiar festival indeed, features musical and visual acts from Australia and abroad that jar your expectations and make your brain feel like popping candy.
CLIENT LIASION @ MOFO 2014
Since its inception in 2012, Client Liasion has been electrifying Melbourne with their unique blend of irony and sincerity, of 80s corporate aesthetic and 80s Australiana, of late 80s and early 90s synthesised sounds. No one quite knows whether to laugh at them or not, says frontman Monte Morgan, “A lot of people when they first see us, can’t believe it’s real, but then they get it. There’s a layered understanding to it.”
END OF THE EARTH, CLIENT LIASION
Their first video, End of the Earth, drenched in Australian references, reminds Australia what it used to have, and indicts the Australia in which we now live. “The song comes from a serious place. I was angry with Australia when I wrote it”, Morgan said. “When Harvey made the clip, he celebrated Australia, so it’s a reinterpretation of the lyrics. Nowadays I’m not so angry… maybe because I get heckled less. Really, it’s all in the name of fun. Hopefully our music and our show make you dance. There’s an element of seriousness, but nothing too sombre.”
MONTE MORGAN, FRONTMAN @ MOFO 2014
Australia and the luxurious, 80s corporate aesthetic aren’t the only things Client Liaison stand for, however. In their second video, Feeling, the band champions the idea of proudly and unapologetically being who you are. Morgan’s slender movements and high-pitch singing covertly bolster this message and compliment one of the catchiest choruses they’ve made to date.
FEELING, BY CLIENT LIAISON
While not yet known Australia-wide, the band has been hopping towards the horizon by leaps and bounds. “We mark the Golden Plains performance in 2013 as the tipping point,” keyboardist Harvey Miller said. “After that, we put on a show at the Toff in Town in Melbourne which sold out. That’s when we got the sense that people actually enjoy it.”
At MOFO, Client Liaison were blessed with a 10pm slot on the last night of the festival. “It’s the first time we played Tassie — that’s a milestone. It’s a telltale sign of a good festival: the non-hierarchical, alphabetic ordering of the acts on the website. It sets the whole agenda for the whole festival,” Miller said.
@ MOFO 2014
Having also played Paradise Music Festival in 2013, Melbourne’s famous venue The Espy for Australia Day and St Jerome’s Laneway Festival earlier this year, Client Liaison will be playing at White Night in Melbourne, Secret Garden Festival in NSW and will be on tour with Miami Horror. Clearly, things are picking up speed — and quickly.
@ MOFO 2014
Monte said, “People are getting frustrated at our shows, shouting out stuff like ‘Release a fucken album!’ and ‘Why can’t we find your music?!’, but we’ll have new video clip up soon, and this year we’ll have an album out and our own headlining show, so things are coming out fluidly now.”
The video clip of which they speak, Free of Fear, was recently released. Keep an eye out for a Morgan’s sleek, feminine dance moves — one of the highlights of Client Liaison live shows.
FREE OF FEAR, BY CLIENT LIAISON
With catchy retro tunes and a live show that you can’t easily forget, it won’t be long until Australia recognises yet another of its secret, gleaming treasures.
Catch Client Liaison at their next show here.
Czech out Repeat Button’s review of MOFO, Tasmania’s zaniest festival.
Words by Iain Excellent
Photos by Chris Le Messurier