THE NIGHT I LOST MY HEAD
lost, one brain, answers to the name SPOZ.. last seen slithering down a side street somewhere at 5AM on a Saturday night, or perhaps curled up on one of those couches in SHOTZ soaking up puddles of spilt beer like a sponge.. resembles a blob of grey mush or perhaps something akin to an oversized walnut.. may prove aggressive if cornered.. treat with caution.. wear heavy gloves.. can pack one helluva mean scorpion sting in it's spinal column tail.. be ever vigilant against poachers.. brain fetches a high price on the asian market.. keep well fed with steady supply of mice.. a bowl of milk twice daily.. perhaps a ball of string to play with.. keep away from naked flames, sharp edges, prime numbers or rubix cubes.. likes a stead stream of sensory imput to process.. best kept well fenced in as it's prone to wandering.. if found, return to this address.. owner useless without it as he could've sworn he left it in his OTHER trouser pockets..
*phew* yup, it's been one of THOSE weekends.. perhaps if I retraced my steps here I could find out where the hell the little squishy bastard went.. dammit! (clearly it's not the first time this shit has happened ;) )FRIDAY NIGHT
tonight was one of those nights where I wished they legalised HUMAN CLONING.. but y'know, the sci-fi improbable version.. where I can get all the handy accelerated 24-hour adult growthing agents, the "I KNOW KUNG FU" instant mind programming techniques, telepathic controls (to coordinate all the other ME's), all the necessary excess clothing, transport and photographic equipment to send these replicants out onto the field, a handy kill switch I can engage at the end of the night so I can vaporise all these clones (before they start demanding pesky things like "human rights") combined with an uber swish memory retrieval and consolidation device so that every one of their colourful misadventures can live on in my brain ever afterwards.. yeah, it's not like I've put ANY thought into this scheme *cough* (yeah riiight!) but when I've got 5 insane equally worthy gigs on offer tonight, how else would I cover them all for SPOZ's RANT? start hiring me some STAFF!?? pfffffft what are ya, INSANE!? (if I ain't getting paid shit to do this each weekend, then there's no way in HELL any of YOU monkeys are gonna get anything.. BWAAAAAHAHAHAHA!)
no.. with mad science falling way short of expectations (once again) I obviously had to make a choice tonight.. should I go see MUSCLE CAR vs HIGHSTAKES support SWEDISH metal act CRUCIFIED BARBARA at FOWLERS LIVE? should I go see NERVOUS GERBAL play an all-ages gig at ADELAIDE UNI BAR? perhaps I could go see FIRE! SANTA ROSA, FIRE's CD LAUNCH at ROCKET BAR? or go see TRIXIE PLAIN supporting THE SPECIES CD launch at the GRACE EMILY? or what about making fun of those idiots MORALS OF A MINOR whilst they played a rooftop gig above CHURCH NIGHTCLUB!? fuuuuuuck.. too many choices!
so, why did I end up choosing to go to see FIRE! SANTA ROSA, FIRE!'s CD LAUNCH at ROCKET BAR tonight? well.. quite simply, these monkeys bribed me with free shit (a free download of their launch EP to be exact) so let that be a lesson out there to anyone else who's looking to get coverage on the weekend.. SPOZ's RANT is never beyond a well placed bribe.. sure, this still doesn't guarentee I WONT ridicule and humiliate your band.. but hey, at least you'll get the free publicity.. YAY! ;)TAUGHT BY ANIMALS
anyhoo, playing support for FIRE! SANTA ROSA, FIRE! tonight at 10PM we have TAUGHT BY ANIMALS..
a band featuring MATT HILLS (I believe he's the hooting hunchback there on guitars) the infamous local producer responsible for engineering such uber shiny local releases as WOLF & CUB's new album "VESSELS", MR WEDNESDAY's album "THE GARDEN WHERE PARTIES GROW", LADY STRANGELOVE's EP, FIRE! SANTA ROSA, FIRE!'s new EP and apparently also the upcoming 200 MOTELS EP.. yup, quite a pedigree.. and as luck would have it, his wacky live band don't totally suck donkey dick either ;)
backed by disney animation JUNGLE BOOK playing on the projection screen behind them and accompanied by some ponderous atmospheric aural textures supplied via laptop.. these 2 guitarists and one midget drummer (seriously wot IS it with these indie acts and their hobbit percussionists?) crank out a disconnective mix of intellectualist artrock wankery that combines all the howling nostril driven fury of FRANK BLACK from THE PIXIES with slacker mid 90's guitar fuzz vibes of SONIC YOUTH and PAVEMENT..
it may seem utterly scatterbrained and stoner vague, yet it's brilliantly executed.. as they cranked out song after song of slacker brilliance, hacking away on their broken instruments like a NEW YEAR's hangover (one of their guitars was missing a middle string, and dammit.. they didn't even care! woooooo!)
yup, for an obscure-arse band that's been building up a lot've word of mouth hype around Adelaide of late.. these monkeys rightly live up to all expectations.. well worth checking 'em out if ya get 1/2 the chance ;)
with TAUGHT BY ANIMALS done for the night, I next decide to take a quick detour down to the GRACE EMILY.. as earlier scouting missions have told me that TRIXIE PLAIN would be playing their set at about this time..TRIXIE PLAIN
arriving at 10:40PM, I find they're about 1/2 way thru cranking their shit up on stage..
now some of you may be wondering why I'd go to all this effort to see these guys, instead of the 3 other gigs on offer tonight around Adelaide (especially considering FOWLERS LIVE is so much closer)
well, firstly.. seeing W SHANE FORSTER and his merry band of lunatics (LINDOG on guitars, TODD on bass) shred out their brilliant hissy fit of smashoff HOLD STEADY style rock on stage has gotta be worth the price of admission alone.. and secondly, being THE GRACE EMILY, there IS no price of admission (woooO!)
but thirdly, the last thing you'd ever wanna incur with these grinning idiots is the wrath of the dreaded and much feared "BLACKLIST" for being foolish enough NOT to turn up to one of these gigs..
sure.. none of us have ANY freaking clue what the hell this ever actually means, even after years of being potentially BLACKLISTED from every one of W SHANE FORSTER's other bands (the original lineup of ANGELIK, SWEEPER, those 3-4 weird stoner artrock sideprojects he did with that midget JOHN SAFRAN and lets not forget the six billion or so different incarnations of LUKE ASHBY's band) and despite how obviously comically hollow this threat always is.. we're still ever fearful.. of.. THE BLACKLIST! AAAAUAUAGGHHH!!
all jokes aside tho'.. these guys are freaking hilarious to see play live.. go see 'em, drink a shit load of piss and chant along to the lyrical tourette's syndrome.. it's cheaper than therapy! ;)
and now that TRIXIE PLAIN have finished (and thus it's safe to leave without fear of BLACKLIST retribution) I duck back down to ROCKET BAR at around 11PM to catch the start of FIRE! SANTA ROSA, FIRE!'s set.. with the venue already packing out with all manner of tiny fragile indie kids looking to woop it up large..
and for extra novelty value tonight, it looks like those geniuses at F!SRF! have supplied the crowd here with a wacky selection of party hats.. uses for which are helpfully demonstrated here by KIM ROBERTS from 200 MOTELS, and um.. who ever that retarded looking gonzo journalist is there on the right.. *ahem* ;)FIRE! SANTA ROSA, FIRE!
I arrive just in time for the first few songs.. as FIRE! SANTA ROSA, FIRE! explode about the stage like a pack of over exciteable 5 year olds fueled up on too much sugar, red cordial and crack amphetamines..
oh, and I should note.. despite most of these photo's appearing to suggest that the band was running the kinda a-grade thermonuclear lighting grid that requires welding goggles to view safely, dont be fooled..
that's just me incidentally catching the flash attacks of a million over exciteable indie chicks going spastic with their cameras (reminding me of that one schitzoid hollywood red carpet scene in the movie THE AVIATOR when LEONARDO DICAPRIO almost loses his shit to all those shattering flash bulbs around him) seriously, how the band managed NOT to black out from epilepsy up there is anyone's guess..
still.. they make for some trippyarse shots, so despite me almost going blind out there.. no complaints :)
as for the band themselves, FIRE! SANTA ROSA, FIRE! sound like what you'd expect if you pushed the thrashing guitars of UK indie to the most ridiculous of funtime bleeding extremes (as if the party hats weren't enough of a clue) channelling FRANZ FERDINAND, KAISER CHIEFS, THE STROKES and MAXIMO PARK..
then blasting it out've the amps and speakers in a juggernaut attack of spastically over driven metronome beats, jangling discordant guitars and bass that piles up into 100 layers of screeching sound..
accompanied by all manner of wacky keyboards and exciteable tamborine flourishes..
and fronted by this shrieking lunatic of a lead singer / guitarist who's obviously a keen follower of the BONN SCOTT school of AC/DC fashion and design as his technicolour yawn t-shirt looks to be 10 times too small for even his kid sister to wear without puncturing a lung (seriously what IS it about ROCKET BAR that seems to attract all the fashion victim bands? MORALS OF A MINOR
care to answer this one? BWAHAHAHA!!)
and just in case all this shit wasn't already causing you a violent aneurysm, they also brought all manner of seemingly random (but quite likely rent-a-crowd) freaks onto the stage as guest performers..
although it's doubtful you'd even hear their contributions over the rest of the grinning chaos erupting on stage.. I mean sure, I could tell this chick wuz singing something and it must've been cool.. but over the howling sounds of 100 shredding guitars and exciteable chihuahuas yelping around me.. she could've been reading out the communist manifesto and none of us would be any the wiser..
and what better way to finish up this spastic attack of indie cheese, than to cover THE RAPTURE's "HOUSE OF JEALOUS LOVERS".. sounding just as insane as the original, only minus all the cow bells (which makes me wonder.. why DON'T these freaks have cowbells? or is that SO *cough* "last season"?)
yup.. surviving FIRE! SANTA ROSA, FIRE!'s CD launch is quite like being violated by a stampede of a million homicidal cartoon characters bursting out've the tv during a particularly violent LSD trip.. so, this may not be your cup of tea if your into shoe gazing, coffee house triphop or the finer works of BRIAN ENO..
but when yer got the place packed to the ceiling with hooting technicolour baboons with party hats going spastic and they're offering free donuts at the bar (I shit you not) duuuude, FREAKING ROOOOCK!!!! :)
oh, and get their EP.. it's really really shiny (I even bought me a copy, wooo!)
obviously the sugar fueled antics don't end here.. as after the gig (and inspired by a few too many beers later) a group of us next think it genius to invade MAX CLUB KARAOKE (that seedy looking / heavily guarded entrance next to ENIGMA BAR on Hindley St) for some much needed after party dribbling retardation..
led by this fool, none other than the infamous MATT HAYWARD from CENTRAL DELI BAND (and no, I don't have any freaking clue why he has that red spot on his forehead either) as we attempt to invade the stage by force with the worst atonal dissonance of strangling cats that we could vomit up on the mics..
but as can be predicted with places like these.. there's only so many diabolical rejects from the 60's, 70's and 80's you can possibly endure before your head explodes.. with such wonders as "SU-SU-SUDIO" by PHIL COLLINS, "CARELESS WHISPER" by WHAM and "LIVING ON A PRAYER" by BON JOVI likely getting an airing tonight, if only my brain didn't thankfully blot out all horrific memory of what happened in here..
yup, BIG ANDY's expression here says it all.. "the horror!! OOOOOOH THE HORROR!!"
and so, after 1 1/2 hours of this insanity.. I think better of it (I believe it was that WHAM song that pushed me over the edge - my older brother used to sing that one at me when I wuz a kid to torture me) as I flee for the east end, to find relative normality in the monkey cages of THE CRANKA.. meeting up with all manner of other refugees spilling out from those other 4 gigs tonight..
many more beers follow.. followed by me jumping around like an idiot on and off the dancefloor till the wee stupid hours of the pre-dawn.. till finally swirling unconsciousness finds me at around 6AM..
and that there kiddies makes for one messy night out on the town.. eeeeee! :)SATURDAY NIGHT
it's 15 hours later and as chance would have it I wake up on the floor here just in time for happy hour.. ooooooohyeaaaaah! strange how none of the bar staff or security seemed to notice me passed out there stone cold on the floor since late last night, but hey.. when yer a frequent flyer in this arsehat music scene and your liver finds itself gravitating towards this place with or without the rest of your body in tow then hey, who's gonna get in the way of that? NOBODY!! THAT'S WHO! YA FUCKS!!! ;)
however, since I've more than likely accumilated all manner of curious and exotic smells from my overnight stay on the floor of "my home away from home", it's time I commune with nature for a while, air myself out and reconnect with the land of the living.. so after downing two frosty pints of HAIR OF THE DOG.. I take a walk around the block to the EXETER (aka: THE EXCRETER) to plant myself in their beer gardens a while..
joining me on this nature trail are these two dribbling primates - BEECHY and BOWIE.. the helmets are of course being worn for their protection against all manner of carnivorous pot plants that are known to infest the ceiling spaces here at the EXETER (nasty little buggers they are too.. eeeee!)
of course, not to be one to mess with their strange customs (you never can be too careful in this age of terrorism) I join in myself.. remember kiddies, in any of your gonzo adventures.. SAFETY FIRST!
suitably refreshed, we return back to THE CRANKA for our live entertainment tonight.. conveniently missing the first donkeyarse band MOLTEN VULTURES and arriving just in time for the headlining act, MACH PELICAN who are launching their shiny new album tonight.. wooooOO! :)MACH PELICAN
it'd been almost a year since MACH PELICAN had last thrashed it out there on the steeeinky 'ol stage at the CRANKA.. a year faaaaar too freaking long.. as if there's any live band out there worth killing yourself for in a moshpit like this, then it's for THESE A-grade skull splitting punk fiends..
and, like all the best punk bands.. the concept for MACH PELICAN is ridiculously simple.. get 3 JAPANESE expats from MELBOURNE - K ROCK on guitars, ATSU C ROLL on bass and TOSHI 8BEAT on drums..
get them to channel all the "OI OI OI!!" punk energy of THE RAMONES or THE HIVES spitting out song after 2 minute song of short, sharp and FUCKING LOUD self destructive partytime massacres..
and combine it with the most psychotic moshpit of kamikaze idiots yer ever likely to find sprawling drunk in the gutters of UNION ST (or come to think of it, outside of any KAMIKAZE gig) and that'd be ya monkey.. sure it ain't rocket science, it doesn't require a PhD or years of intensive study to understand.. it's just minimal as fuck, balls out punk.. BUT DAAAAMN DOES IT FUCKING ROCK LIVE!! :)
whilst the band thrashes it out on stage, you can be endlessly entertained as you watch yet another idiot from the crowd gets thrown up and splattered all over the middle of the floor..
then watch as that same idiot get dragged back into the mosh by some grinning loon dressed as a MEXICAN only to return again and again, coughing up onto the stage in regular intervals like a spastic cuckoo clock whilst everyone else is thrown against walls and smashed into speakerstacks like ragdolls..
sure, we may've come for the music, but we all stay to kill ourselves rotten in the moshpit :)
and here I am.. the one idiot STUPID enough to throw a camera into the thick of this punk centrifuge, all for the sake of some gonzo photos for your blog viewing pleasure.. but hey, if I can survive SHIHAD, IGGY AND THE STOOGES, KAMIKAZE and TONY FONT SHOW's CD launch.. then wot's ANOTHER near fatal mosh?
as the best strategy I've found with photographing gigs like this.. is if yer gonna get idiots flying over your head, tripping you to the floor, or almost knocking your teeth loose in a flying tackle from behind.. just take the fuckas head on.. charge into the mosh.. throw y'self around for a while.. let 'em know yer as insane as hell, then give 'em all a fuckoff shit eating grin anytime they try and step near ya when you take a photo lest anyone dares knock you off balance.. they usually learn not to mess with ya then.. MUHAHAHA! :)
*phew*.. still.. after throwing myself around for 45 minutes, 20-30 songs and one machine gunning encore, I'm wondering how the fuck I managed to survive yet another one of these MACH PELICAN gigs without losing an arm, a leg and perhaps kidney (DAMN are my right ribs gonna hurt on MONDAY.. yeouch!) yup, you guys may be crazy as all fuck.. and your fans out there in the crowd may be getting more ultraviolent and insane each time you play here (AAUAGGHH!!) but you guys can party down this way AAAANYTIME :)
with the dust now clearing and the littering of corpses being swept away by the ever cheerful bar staff.. it's time for a good 'ol fashioned drunkening.. coz damn, but if nearly getting killed in a MACH PELICAN pit doesn't drives up a meanarse thirst.. a thirst for COOPERS PALE ALE! (*cough* sponsor me dammit!)
along the way to the bar, I'm warned about the ever present dangers of social alcoholism by this random freak, who has conveniently stolen this timely public service announcement from the MEN's TOILET..
although maybe it would've been better if he heeded his OWN warning.. as an hour or so later I spotted the same loon sprawled on the ground in UNION ST whilst on me way to the EXETER.. BWAAAHAHAHAHA!
returning to the CRANKA and many beers later, I felt particularly foolish enough to try one of the items on the SPECIALS MENU.. a curious little beast of a SHOT called a SQUASHED FROG.. I got no freaking clue wot the fuck they put in it.. except that it was green, there wuz a swirl of something dark red on it, it tasted very much like peppermint and within 20 minutes it made my brain fall out've my skull.. weeeee!
this of course led me into a hooting crashtest dummy spree on the dancefloor, accompanied by the trashy selection of fine tunes as supplied by the ever infamous FATBOY SLUM (aka: DJ IAN) here on the decks.. and funnily enough, attacking the dude paparazzi style warrants me a free movie pass? weeeird! ;)
all this gratuitous alcohol abuse and trashy dancefloor retardation inevitably leads me to this trashy snack selection.. something which I quite possibly chose because the cartoon cheetah (who by all appearances seems to be tripping hard on pills) looks to be the FUNNIEST shit I could find to eat at 3AM..
and now quite clearly swimming in a gurgling sea of my own hazy inebriation, at 3:30AM or so I leave the CRANKA and make for my usual hooting chimpanzee end of night appearance at SHOTZ..
throw myself around the checkered dancefloor, tip some drinks over, run around in circles, get dizzy, collapse, throw myself around the stage above the checkered dancefloor.. rinse, repeat.. and be sure to get an exceptionally drunken group shot at the end to souvenir the whole disorienting experience..
before finally spilling out onto the street at 5AM, down GRENFELL ST and into a taxi home (how the hell I managed to find the keyhole to my front door is anyone's guess.. woooohehehahahaha!)
and that there kiddies is the end of my journey and the end of this weeks installment in my continuing misadventures in the percolating brown zoo that is the Adelaide music scene.. I hope you've enjoyed it about as much as I can't remember large chunks at the end of it (I can be sure all you roaming paparazzi out there will be supplying me with all manner of cheerful reminders in the next few days.. oh how I enjoy that!) and be sure to tune in next week as I do it all again.. WOOOOHEHEHAHAHAHAHA! :)
Previously on Spoz's Rant: Enter, Space Capsule