Clowns (Band) are a punk band from Melbourne, Australia. I remember when they first contacted me from a Windows Live email address asking if they could use one of my photos for their vinyl insert because I had taken the only photo of their bass player where his face was visible. Since then, we’ve been all over Australia together. Many of my best times as a photographer have been with Clowns. They’re just the best.
Not sure why I keep writing (Band) after I write Clowns? Because it helps people discover them when they’re looking for good music.
Clowns, Melbourne DIY punks, have been going strong for over nine years. They’ve released three acclaimed records that blend a variety of genres within the broader category of punk. Clowns have destroyed stages all over the world through hundreds of tours and finding a huge following in Europe particularly. Regardless of their attention, their DIY strategy keeps them grounded and charged with energy and hunger.
So where did the band name ‘Clowns‘ come from? From some of the most hated people in the entertainment industry, depending on who you are – clowns.
Clowns (band) have toured with some of punk’s royalty – NOFX, The Descendents, Rise Against, The Sword and The Foo Fighters to name just a few.
In the leadup to their third album, Lucid Again, they released their single Destroy The Evidence and did a tour for it. Probably one of the messiest shows I’ve been to, right up there with the Halloween show at Crowbar Brisbane. That’s one thing Clowns are particularly known for – crazy, intimate shows. Like when Stevie jumped off the roof at the 4ZZZ Carpark. Or when they played on a boat.
Clowns band launching Nature/Nurture
Clowns released their fourth album, Nature/Nurture on internationally-huge record label, ‘Fat Wreck Chords’. They hit Crowbar Brisbane to celebrate and play a bunch of new songs.
Clowns supporting The Foo Fighters
Clowns played a huge show in support of The Foo Fighters at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium.
I had to be there, and re-arranged my schedule to do it. Dave Ghrohl lived up to his reputation of being the nicest guy in rock n roll. Foo Fighters really know how to put on a good show, and also how to pick a good support artist, too! DZ Deathrays are further proof of that, playing Brisbane’s show at Suncorp Stadium.
Photos coming soon.
Clowns supporting The Sword
Clowns supported a band called The Sword shortly before The Sword broke up. The show was one of the last concerts I photographed at Max Watt’s. Max Watt’s was previously known as The Hi-Fi bar, but shortly after the name was changed, the venue shut down.
Clowns played a solid set, and while I wasn’t too familiar with The Sword, they seemed quite good, also. The Sword broke up shortly after this show, or went on an indefinite hiatus. Check out the photos of Clowns supporting The Sword.
Clowns (band) tour with The Bennies
What do you get when you pair party team, The Bennies, with hard partiers, Clowns? A whole heap of photos of destructive good times.
Clowns hit the infamous Nimbin Bush Theatre, where a naked man trounced the stage, including many other venues. At Sol Bar I got two espresso martinis for Stevie and I, the door swung open and spilled them all over the ground. Sol Bar re-made them for us, and I couldn’t be more appreciative. I love my espresso martinis.
See all of the photos from the tour with The Bennies.
Clowns supporting Rise Against
Clowns supported Rise Against on their Australian tour supporting the album, Black Market.
Margaret Court Arena was a special one, because it was one of Clowns’ first arena shows. Then there was Brisbane Riverstage, which was a huge one, too.
Rise Against guys are so nice. Stevie jumped off a speaker stack that knocked one over, and the Rise Against guys were real easy about it. Legendary, nice guys.
Check out the photos from Clowns’ shows with Rise Against.
Loudmouth Boat Cruise
What could go wrong with Clowns playing a show on a boat? Nothing! Nothing did go wrong, and we were all amazed.
This show was the first time I had photographed Pagan, too. For such a small stage, the five-piece fit really well on a boat. Pair it with a hundred or so fans, and the boat party was a really fun one.
See the photos from the boat here.
Halloween Show at Crowbar Brisbane
You’d expect Clowns to dress up as Clowns for Halloween, but that’s too obvious. Instead, Stevie dressed as a cat at the last minute and no one else did anything but play an amazing show.
At this show, there was so much beer all over the stage and people were falling over all throughout. Didn’t stop an amazing show from happening though at Crowbar Brisbane.
Check out the photos from the Halloween show here.
Clowns tour with Frenzal Rhomb
Clowns hit the road with Frenzal Thomb in a tour that was very similar to the recipe-for-disaster-turned-amazing tour with The Bennies.
This tour went amazing too. It included one of my favourite venues to tour through, The Spotted Cow in Toowoomba. The owner always makes us do odd things for extra booze. This time he asked us to stack chairs in the dining area. His Mum also makes us pasta every time as part of a big feast.
Check out the photos from the whole tour here.
Destroy The Evidence Tour
Supporting their first single from their third album, ‘Lucid Again’, Clowns destroyed Crowbar.
Destroy The Evidence is a little bit ‘Bad Blood’ and a little bit of a more finessed sound for Clowns.
Check out the photos from the single launch.
Clowns supporting The Descendents
Clowns are huge fans of The Descendents, so taking photos of their support slot for the band was an honour.
The Descendents took a break while Milo used his college degree to do something in the nuclear field. Or at least that’s what I’m told. But now they’re back, and sound better than ever.
Take a look at the photos from the shows.
Clowns Lucid Again Tour
I jumped on the Lucid Again Tour to celebrate the release of Clowns’ third album of the same name.
It was the first time Clowns had taken on the challenge of filling Melbourne’s iconic Corner Hotel. They did it. The show sold out!
Check out the photos from the sold out show in Melbourne and other shows around the country.
Clowns’ 4ZZZ Carpark Show
The 4ZZZ Carpark Show is a bit of a moment in history for us. Stevie wanted to jump from the roof, and 4ZZZ didn’t want that to happen. We asked them if they had a waiver or if we could custom-write one, and they said don’t worry about it. After it happened, they were very unhappy. 4ZZZ’s station manager at the time created a smear campaign of sorts against me. The new station manager has the photo of the jump from the roof hanging in the 4ZZZ station, and emailed me to thank me for creating such an iconic picture for the station’s history. It’s weird how things change over time with some level-headed thinking.
Check out that infamous photo and the rest here.
Clowns at Big Sound 2017
The first time I photographed Clowns was at Big Sound many years ago, before their first album came out.
Clowns returned to Big Sound in 2017, and of course I was there again. Extra points for the showcase they played being at Crowbar Brisbane.
Check out all the photos from the Clowns’ Big Sound showcase here.