Fly­ing high in style

The West Australian - - THE WIRE - Harvey Rae

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.

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