CLIENT LIAISON’S 2012 single End of the Earth was an 80s-style pop critique of Australia.
The video was redolent of the era, with lobsters baking on the beach, mangos and skin cancer, prawn cocktails, beautiful scenery, the Cronulla riots and John Howard in his tracksuit.
“There’s layered meaning to it … this is a country that has layers, it has good and bad sides,” says the duo’s vocalist Monte Morgan.
He and mate Harvey Miller met in primary school, but it wasn’t until 2011 they formed Client Liaison, releasing their EP in 2012, and album Diplomatic Immunity, this year.
The band’s name also harks back to another era: “It’s a term we heard used for a job description. It’s redundant to our generation … it didn’t mean anything, and fitted our sound,” 31-year-old Morgan says.
Performing in suave tailor-made suits CL brings glam back into a pop scene better known for ripped jeans and grungy teeshirts: “We have our own wardrobe department,” Morgan says.
The major influence on CL’s pop-dance music is Prince: “[He] has a sophisticated entertainment look,” Morgan says.
CL joins a great line up for the first WA Falls Festival, hitting Fremantle’s shores early January, with the likes of London Grammar, Violent Soho, and Childish Gambino.
“Who is having a strong run globally at the moment. It’s a multi-arts performance everyone is raving about,” WA Falls organiser Paul Sloan says.
The Falls Festival showcases the port city’s architecture, and vibrancy with acts in the town hall and St John’s church.
“It will be the first time people have seen comedy in the church,” Mr Sloan says.
It’s usually held in leafy regional locations such as Byron Bay, but when organisers came west they fell in love with Fremantle, which had everything they wanted: “Not just a football oval or a patch of grass, the same old thing people have been doing for 20 years now,” Mr Sloan says.
Adelaide, Queen and William Streets will be closed, and Fremantle themed with port references and seagulls, as the city’s centre becomes music central.
There’ll be a raft of art and craft pop-up shops in Many, (the old Myer store) with DJs and experimental electronic music in the basement.
Kings Square will be alive with food and drink venues, and: “Wherever there is a nook or cranny we are installing furniture so people can sit down with friends,” Mr Sloan says.
The Falls Festival – catch the action Saturday January 7 and Sunday 8. Tix at www.fallsfestival.com/fremantle
by JENNY D’ANGER