Flying high in style
For Client Liaison, business class is the only class. The Melbourne synth-pop duo, who expand to a four-piece live featuring Triple J Hack presenter Tom Tilley on bass, are building an empire befitting their dedication to 1980s opulence. It only made sense to recruit ARIA Hall of Famer Tina Arena, who duets on upcoming single A Foreign Affair, along with fellow frequent flyers Flight Facilities for debut album Diplomatic Immunity. “(We) wrote some lyrics in A Foreign Affair referencing Tina ‘As we kiss on the beach of Sorrento’, referencing (Arena’s 1995 hit) Sorrento Moon,” singer Monte Morgan says from Melbourne. “We developed the song and it had her style in it, the early 90s power ballad vibe.” Morgan is living it up at Client Liaison HQ when we speak. In their world, business and pleasure mix like a long lunch on the company credit card.
“Level 9 on Collins Street in Melbourne,” he says. “It’s a bit of an office space. We’ve got a few different departments here — rehearsal space, wardrobe department, our management is here, and a couple of little spaces for us to record.”
Tina Arena suits their love of fading icons from bygone eras. Images of Ansett, Diners Club and Fosters flash across the visuals at Client Liaison concerts, which are guaranteed to make you laugh and dance in equal measure.
“We had these themes of the nomadic businessman flying the Australian flag overseas,” Morgan says. “It turned into a bit of a concept album without us realising.”
Fittingly for a band whose costume design is as central as the music, they’re about to launch the Client Liaison Designer Range in collaboration with stylist Kirsty Barros. You’ll be able to buy shorts, T-shirts, bumbags, towels, beach robes and swimwear direct from their website.
Given Diplomatic Immunity opens with a song called Canberra Won’t Be Calling Tonight, it’s budgie smugglers all the way. “A high-cut lady’s one-piece and then we’ve got budgie smugglers for boys,” Morgan says. “It’s a beach, summer range.
“Instead of grabbing a stock standard T-shirt and whacking a print on it, we’ve actually created the shape and the fabric and colours. It’s been really fun to take that to the next level, to try and enter the fashion sphere.
“We always just try to have fun and try to live out our fantasies. Because Client Liaison is so multi-sensory, there’s so many opportunities for fun.”
‘We had these themes of the nomadic businessman flying the Australian flag overseas.’
Client Liaison value costume design.