MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER
"there were too many of us.. we had access to too many of.. too much money.. too much equipment.. and little by little we went insane.." - Francis Ford Coppola
yeah, it's weird to think the FRINGE wuz once just a tiny tiny footnote to the proper ADELAIDE ARTS FESTIVAL.. back when it was just a haven for the colourful rejects - the creatively unemployable, the unwashed art student, the criminally insane, hippies, pagans, freestyle brain astronauts, counter culture experimentalists and circus freaks and geeks.. back when every FRINGE pushed the weird shit-o-metre to new levels of dribbling delerium.. and with just a few paper clips, 50,000 rolls of toilet paper, a butane tank and an inflatable camel you too could join in with your OWN event.. aaah yes.. those were the glory days..
but now look at how it's grown.. its freakin' huuuuuuge maaaaan.. its popular.. its mainstream.. its corporate sponsorship and merchandising catalogs.. it's city streets packed to the gills with hooting chimps on opening night like it's METALLICA at the BDO, or the CLIPSAL INDIE 500.. and you wonder if it's gone too far..
hmmmm.. is it about time we give the FRINGE a much needed hair extension? is it still the "fringe" of an ARTS FESTIVAL when it's this large? can it get much crazier than this? can the people handle it? are they ready? or has this all gone horribly out've control?
with that thought in mind.. here's this weekend's journey into the heart of darkness.. where there were too many of us.. we had access to too much beer.. too much mental chemical stimulation.. and little by little we went freakin' insane :)THURSDAY NIGHT - BOOSTER
this journey technically began back on Wednesday night, but I'm saving that tale of dumb fun with explosives for a different blog (stay tuned).. so, here.. for the sake of this blog at least.. it all began on Thursday night with a big 'ol dumb rock gig at the JADE MONKEY - with BOOSTER channeling the finest moments of THIN LIZZY, OZZY OSBOURNE, DEEP PURPLE and JIMI HENDRIX.. and all without any hint of comical irony.. (how they manage such brilliance with a straight face, I do not know)
and with all those shrieking falsetto's, drum solo's, hammering guitar riffs (some of the coolest I've heard in a long while), lunatic song breakdowns, stage theatrics and general head hazing epic-rock buffoonery.. it's no surprises to find lead singer / drummer / rockpig ANGOVE K here after the gig dousing himself in ice water to put all the fires out.. damn duuude.. you just about killed y'self up there.. I raise two fists in demon finger salute to you.. ROCK!
(also rather thankful I remained downwind of the smell.. eeeeesh!)
After BOOSTER, I ducked out before THE BIG ROOM (due to play next... I think it wuz their CD launch or somethin') to see wot wuz going on at the GARDEN tonight.. but, since it was raining quite heavily at this point.. there wuzn't much for me to see that didn't require a $30 fee into the Speigeltent to see..
so, somewhat frazzled after 2 days of insomnia, I decided then to head home at about 11PM.. almost falling asleep in the middle of an episode of THE FAMILY GUY I was to watch on DVD.. (dammit!)FRIDAY NIGHT - THE FRINGE PARADE
'twas the night of the "official" FRINGE opening, the parade, the party in the parklands and thus, also the night that all of Adelaide decided to join me in the spectacle, filling all of Grenfell, North Tce and Rundle from Frome to East Tce.. all in the hope of binging upto their eyeballs on 2 years worth of live MUSIC and ARTS CULTURE which they'd otherwise avoid like the plague the rest of the year in favour of REALITY TV, CRIME TV, CURRENT AFFAIRS and ARMCHAIR SPORTS.. yippee!
I went along to check it out with CRAZY ANDY (with the dreds) and as luck would have it.. we managed to fight our way thru the crowd to find this vantage point standing on top of one of those concrete plant pots outside the CROWN N ANCHOR.. although if we had the choice, we would've picked the balcony.. but, they made that "doorlist" access only (bastards!) so, in retaliation for one of our friends who DID manage to sneak a spot up there, we spent 1/2 the parade chucking shit at him..
watching the parade.. I noticed it somewhat sorely lacking from years previously..
firstly, instead of holding it in daytime (or at least sunset) like they've always done, they decided in their wisdom to hold it at 8:30PM.. and wot with the distinct lack of any real illumination, flammables or fireworks this year.. it all looked quite dark and dour and damn near impossible to see.. nothing except for a few lame floats and 100's of idiots running around handing out flyers.. and nothing compared to the sublime insanity of years before *sniff*..
and since the FRINGE is slap in the middle of STATE ELECTIONS this year, the whole thing also took on a distinctly more pronounced political / activist theme..
here we can see some kinda marine wildlife conservation society doing their PSA with an octopus..
the "MAKE POVERTY HISTORY" campaign..
the wot'ever the FUCK this was meant to protest..
and everything else in between from workers unions, amnesty international and wot'ever-the-fuck-else all filing past looking equally dark and dour.. and sure.. all worthy causes the lot of 'em.. but WHERE WUZ THE ART IN THIS PARADE DAMMIT!!?? where was the FUN!? one dude in a gorilla suit, a bunch of lit up construction vehicles and a few lunatics on crazy bicycles do NOT a FRINGE PARADE make!
I demand more freaks.. and I demand them NOW DAMMIT!!!
anyhoo.. once again we attempted to get to the CRANKA balcony, but it wuz still blocked off.. so, with the parade over.. we fought past the hoards of people.. to make way to the East Parklands..
as well as the GARDEN OF UNEARTHLY DELIGHTS, they also opened up another carnival section in the parklands across the road, both filled with thousands of people packed to sardine point shuffling around with confused looks on their faces.. here we find 5000 of them transfixed by some didgeridoo act called "EMDEE" playing on stage (more on them later).. from here.. we attempted to then source some alcohol from the nearest drinks tent.. and for laughs, we ended up skolling down Vodka Cruisers one by one like idiots (yay sugar!)..
with nowhere to really move.. and nothing really to see.. we got bored of all this rather quickly.. and decided to head back into Rundle St to check out "HIGHER GROUND" a FRINGE venue setup in the old IMAX theatre..
upon walking in.. we see a few bored guitarists strumming away something that sounded like THE DIRTY THREE.. minus the percussion.. to an equally bored or otherwise indifferent crowd.. so, again looking for fresh entertainment.. we went wandering around the venue in search of shiny distractions to amuse ourselves..
it's then that we stumbled upon this mysterious elevator hidden away in one of the unlit alcoves inside.. and taking a crazy chance (ie: alcohol inspired) we thought it'd be funny to step inside and see where the lift would take us..
as we reached the 3rd floor and a little pre-recorded voice cheerfully chirped our arrival.. we stepped out into a mysterious uncharted dark hallway which then led us to THIS exceptionally crazy looking deserted stairwell..
I can't remember if this was part of the old IMAX theatre.. or just some really fucked up bizarre remnant of some other former building.. but DAMN it looked trippy.. and this crazy colourful shit extended all 3 levels back down to ground floor.. wooo!
upon reaching ground level again.. we found a door, and emerged back in HIGHER GROUND, with nobody out there the wiser of our mysterious re-appearance.. pissing ourselves laughing at how trippy it all was..
with the need to wander again.. we headed back to the CROWN N ANCHOR.. and finally gained access to the balcony..
some beers, and random beer sculptures followed..
although my creation paled in comparison to the efforts of others..
in a night of dumb wanderings.. and the crowds finally clearing a bit.. we attempted to make our way BACK to HIGHER GROUND again.. dragging some new people to witness the psychedelic stairwell experience.. unfortunately.. by this point (2AM) the place wuz closing up.. so we made our way into the GARDEN OF UNEARTHLY DELIGHTS.. wandering around in a drunken stupor and bumping into various freaks on random adventures, hearing all the crazy stories they had to tell..
for instance, here's some loon called LORD STOMPY.. as to why he's wearing a blue dress, I've got no fucking clue.. I also couldn't remember 1/2 the shit he was talking about (apparently he was in one of the official FRINGE acts, but I couldn't quite tell).. but, definitely the #1 weirdest photo of the weekend..
finally at 3-4AM.. my brain suitably warped beyond all measures of reality.. I attempted to catch a taxi home..
then ending an exceptionally random and stupid FRIDAY night out.. fueled by 7-8 beers, 3 vodka cruisers.. and a liberal dose of the green wookie.. eeeeeeeeee!SATURDAY NIGHT
after 3 nights of carnage.. I felt in need for something reasonably cruisy.. so, tonight my choice was the tropical fungus sounds of SOJOURN and EMDEE at JIVE..SOJOURN
first up, a brand new shiny ambient act, called SOJOURN.. cooking up a slo-mo cruising brew of crunchy breaks, soaring atmospheric synths, bleeps, live percussion, live flute, saxaphone, and vocals.. like little bits of THE ORB, BOARDS OF CANADA, FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON all mixed together in a blender and served with a hippie eco-friendly slant by a freak with a blue stripe on his face doing the vocals (coz, apparently wacky blue face stripes make you look more AMBIENT n tribal n shit..)
but yeah, for their 2nd gig they've ever played.. they sounded really fucken good.. go see 'em, they'll melt ya brain!EMDEE
after SOJOURN.. EMDEE, the same monkeys who just the night before rocked out to 5000 people packed into the FRINGE opening night party in the parklands.. were playing again here tonight.. to 50-100 of us freaks at JIVE..
yeah.. you'd think that'd be an anticlimax.. but you should've seen this little crowd go nuts to this shit.. and all quite possibly because of this nutta, the dude smoking some a-grade chronic on these 4 didgeridoo's..
they cooked up this insane blend of organic drum n bass.. with the didge supplying all the synth lines that squealed, howled and honked their way like twisting snakes thru your eardrums..
they were accompanied by 2 female vocalists tagteaming smooth deliveries and psychedelic poly-syllabic funk flows..
whilst this maniac octopus drummmer hammered out a high speed thrashing drum n bass breaks juggernaut.. along with this lo-fidelity funk gonzo with the bass..
and sure, the whole novelty of 4 didges kinda wore thin for me after the 3rd or 4th song or so (and by this point of the weekend, I wuz running somewhat slow on energy) but, to the rest of the crowd.. this freebasing funky shit drove them insane (especially the surfie barefoot element.. them crazy cats couldn't get enough, running amok all over the joint, flipflopping like ragdolls in a washing machine)
all in all.. some damn cool shit.. and if I ever feel the need to trip on some shrooms and some herbal speed / E's.. I'll be sure to call you dudes up.. you be cooking up some damn KWAZY STUFF YO!
after the gig.. and after my 5th beer.. we piled into a few cars.. off to the GARDEN OF UNEARTHLY DELIGHTS with the freaks from SOJOURN and EMDEE to piss on in more psychedelic surrounds..
a few more beers and some clouds of wookie later.. I end the night in here, at this wacky sideshow tent in the north-western edge of the GARDEN as the DJ spun all sorts of freakout classics in oldskool 80's and early 90's hiphop.. with me flailing around like a retarded loon all over the dancefloor till the wee hours..
and thus ends an exceptionally dyslexic rambling weekend of freak pursuits..
one rockpig gig..
one FRINGE opening..
one psychedelic elevator / stairwell detour..
one mind melting ambient gig..
one freakout hippie funkout with fuckoff didges and an octopus drummer..
one alcohol / wookie hazed finale..
I dunno wot the fuck it all meant (especially that weirdo with the blue dress), and I'm still trying to put the pieces together here (as you can see from such a adhoc constructed blog post here) but for the most part, dumb fun was had by all.. :)
so, join me again next week.. and lets see where I end up next!
Previously on Spoz's Rant: Dope Hats / Commando Chair