It’s been nearly two years since I last saw the Goon Sax play in a tiny pub in Salford. They were nervous teenagers making their first musical foray overseas and, despite looking like possums caught in car headlights, they put on a decent show.

Tonight they are a different beast, more confident and with more abrasive songs. So much so only two tracks from their 2016 debut album, 'Up to Anything', remain in the set – first single 'Sometimes Accidentally' and 'Sweaty Palms'. There’s not even a place for their classic early single 'Boyfriend', as they are keenly looking forward with new album, 'We’re Not Talking', which is due to drop in September, a point that frustrates drummer and backing vocalist, Riley Jones, who explains after the gig that the album was recorded over a year ago and they would have loved to have had it out sooner.

Of the new songs, 'Make Time for Love', which was even in the Salford set, is the most accessible indie-pop moment, whilst 'She Knows', sung by second vocalist James Harrison is also pretty darn catchy. Musically, the band are unmistakably Australian, with that classic 80’s Aussie sound, but equally have a leaning towards those angular post-punk bands that bubbled beneath the surface of Britain in the early part of Thatcher’s reign.

Mainman Louis Forster, sporting painted nails and bags of charisma (certainly a chip off the old block and his dad the Go-Betweens Robert Forster on both counts) seems to be enjoying every minute and so he should be as his band go from strength to strength. He may still be in the shadow of his more famous father, but at this rate he won’t be for long.

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Commenting On: Gorilla, Manchester. 28/5/2018 - Goon Sax

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