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Last week, scuzzball Aussie punks The Chats headed to the Electric in Brixton for two packed-out nights of boozed-up punk sing-alongs about pub feeds, heavy drinking, STIs and generally getting mashed. Since their 2017 hit Smoko went viral, the resulting debut album High Risk Behaviour solidified the mulleted punks as one of the most lairy, fun bands around.
But who exactly are The Chats' fans? We headed to the second of the band's shows in Brixton to find out…
When did you all get into The Chats?
Arun: "A few years ago?"
Rob: "Yeah, ages ago."
Teri: "There’s not much of a punk scene these days, they’re probably one of the best around now."
How did you get into them?
Rob: "Just seen them on YouTube."
Teri: "Yeah, found them online."
Who else are you listening to right now?
Teri: "There’s a lot of groups I like; a lot of heavy metal, a lot of punk."
Arun: "Yeah, it’s hard to pin it down!"
Rob: "I listen to basically everything."
The Chats like a beer or two. What’s your drink of choice tonight?
Teri: "Strongbow fucking cider."
Arun: "To be fair, we’ll have anything!"
When did you get into The Chats?
Dominic: "Probably about four years back. I discovered them when I was watching TV with my dad and they came on the telly. My dad was like, ‘Oh, this band is definitely from the ’80s!’ He was fucking right into it, he loved it. I booked the tickets after that, which was years ago now – pre-COVID. They’re fucking finally here!"
When you go to a gig, where in the crowd are you?
Dominic: "I’m a mid-guy. I’m old now, so maybe years ago I’d be at the front, but I want a beer now! I’ll try and get to the front sometimes with the kids but my knee will get jerked. It’s no good."
What do you like about The Chats?
Emily: "Their stupid lyrics!"
James: "It’s just a bit batshit crazy, isn’t it?"
Emily: "The whole of Smoko is ridiculous!"
Who are your favourite bands of all time?
James: "They’re not bands that would directly link to The Chats. I’m a lot more indie, so mine are the Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon, artists like that."
Emily: "I don’t really listen to any music other than The Chats!"
James: "This is Emily’s first-ever gig."
Emily: "Yeah, I’m 19 and it’s the first I’m going to."
Are you crowdsurfers?
James: "We’ll find out! For me, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do."
Emily: "I’m not going stop you…"
How long have you been fans of The Chats?
Tom: "Literally about five months."
Karyma: "I found them through Shazam."
Tom: "She showed me them and said, 'Listen to this band!' She sent me Bus Money, I listened to it, and I was like, ‘Who the fuck are these!?’ They’re unbelievable."
What other music are you listening to?
Tom: "The Misfits, Sabbath."
Tom: "They’re pretty much all I listen to!"
And what’s your drink of choice for the night?
Tom: "We’ve been drinking cocktails all day, doing Australian rounds."
Karyma: "Probably a cheeky G&T or a vodka lemonade. Something like that."
And where do you position yourself at a gig?
Karyma: "We’re in the pit! We’re pit people."
Tom: "I’m nearly 34 and she’s what?"
Tom: "I used to be in the pit, then gradually moved further back, but now I’m being thrown into the pit and I haven't got a choice!"
Karyma: "I’m always pushing him in."
How long have you been fans of The Chats?
Harriet: "About a year?"
James: "Maybe two or three years?"
Harriet: "James found them."
James: "Yeah, I came across Smoko on YouTube. I think it popped up from other bands I like."
What do you like about them?
Harriet: "They’re fun and silly and shouty."
James: "Their shoutiness is good. I’ve seen them before, their mosh-pits are very good."
What other bands are you listening to at the moment?
James: "Chubby And The Gang, we’ve seen them what, like?"
Harriet: "Six or seven times? Over the last year we’ve seen them so many times and they’ve been so good. That’s why tonight’s really exciting [with them supporting]."
What’s your drink of choice?
James: "I’ve drank too much beer already. I’m a bit too full so probably switch over to vodka and cokes."
Harriet: "Maybe a G&T!"
Are you big fans of The Chats?
Lumi: "Yeah, we have been for years now! Several years."
Daniel: "We came across Smoko and were obsessed."
Lumi: "My family’s from Australia as well."
What’s Smoko about, then?
Lumi: "It’s not about much!"
Daniel: "About being on smoke breaks and being angry."
Lumi: "Being angry, being Australian…"
Alice: "Struggles of working, I guess."
What about your favourite bands of all time?
Lumi: "That’s difficult. I listen to a lot of rock music, so I guess Alice In Chains, Guns N' Roses…"
Daniel: "Me and Louis are both big Nirvana fans."
How did you get into The Chats?
Cameron: "My mate James showed me them, it's pretty much as simple as that."
Harry: "I went to see them three or four years ago and it was a really good gig."
Why do you like them so much?
Cameron: "They’re fucking nuts."
Harry: "I like their energy and their fans as well. The crowd is good."
What other bands are you into at the moment?
Harry: "We went to see Slowthai last night, that was so good. Two nights in Brixton, back-to-back."
Lucy: "It was so great."
That’s not that embarrassing!
Harry: "I also really like the grunge band from New York, Pretty Sick, and my last favourite [album] is probably Fiona Apple. It’s like sad girl music but I like it a lot."
And what’s your bev of choice for tonight?
Harry: "I’m driving, so none for me."
How long have you been listening to The Chats?
"Since quite early on. I remember they had an issue with copyright with one of their albums; they had the Marlboro logo as one of their covers and that got me really liking them because it was fun. Smoko was the first song and music video that I properly listened to. That got me going for all the others."
What is it you like about them? What kept you listening to them?
"Mullets? I’m Australian so all my family over there listen to them, I listen to them. It’s just quite a nice thing. I got my little brother into listening to them maybe when he was 10, singing all their songs. I did wonder whether I should have, but ah well!"
What other bands are you listening to?
"I’ve really got into ’90s hip-hop at the moment, but I do really love punk. The Slits and Kleenex."
Where do you position yourself at a gig?
"I’m in the pit, I like a good bump about. It’s fun! Just getting really sweaty and dancey."
The Cover Story
Despite their name, The Chats are men of few words, letting their high-octane, scuzzed-up punk do the talking. On a sweltering summer’s day, we caught up with the Aussie beer lovers at their blistering K! Pit show to find a band resolutely not giving a shit, and loving it.
Scruffy Aussie punk lads The Chats return with more of the same simple genius and bar stool observations on electrifying second album…
The Chats have announced their biggest-ever UK and European headline tour – including a date at London’s legendary O2 Academy Brixton.
Watch the video for The Chats’ new single I’ve Been Drunk In Every Pub In Brisbane, and see where you can catch them in stadiums with Guns N’ Roses later this year…
Turnstile, IDLES, Nova Twins, Knocked Loose, Bob Vylan and more descend on the Cotswolds for one of the UK’s most beloved fests…
The Chats will hit The K! Pit next week for an unhealthy dose of beer-stained shed rock – see you there!